Jessica Brown Portrait

William Woods ASL professor now the only nationally Certified Deaf Interpreter in the state of Missouri after achieving certification

Already ranked as one of the best collegiate degree programs in the nation, the American Sign Language (ASL) program at William Woods University(WWU) now has a new point of pride – a faculty member that is currently the only nationally Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) in the entire state of Missouri.

Jessica Brown, and Assistant Professor of American Sign Language and a member of the ASL faculty at WWU for five years, recently passed the national CDI exam, becoming one of only 219 Certified Deaf Interpreters in the United States. In doing so, she also becomes the only nationally Certified Deaf Interpreter in the state of Missouri. The accomplishment for Brown was a goal for her that was more than 15 years in the making.

Jess Brown teaching

“It has been a long, arduous and hard-earned road, and I am relieved to have accomplished the goals I set back in 2005, when I was a student at William Woods,” Brown said.

A 2010 graduate of William Woods who received her Master’s in Sign Language Education from Gallaudet University in 2015, Brown received her Missouri Certified Deaf Interpreter certification in 2018. Among the courses she teaches at The Woods are American Sign Language 1-6, Deaf Culture, ASL Linguistics, Deaf Interpreting, Linguistics of Non-Manual Markers and Fingerspelling and Numbers. 

Brown’s new lofty status compared to her peers in the industry across the state speaks to the overall teaching excellence at WWU.

“At William Woods, we can truly say that our students learn from the best,” said Dr. Jeremy Moreland, President of William Woods University. “Congratulations to Jessica Brown, whose sterling accomplishments in the field of ASL Interpreting help further demonstrate the outstanding quality of our faculty here at The Woods.”

For more information on the ASL program at William Woods, please visit: