Administrators - Qualifications of Educational Interpreters
Interpreters require a great deal of training in order to meet minimum standards. Unfortunately, educational interpreting is an emerging profession and educators are only now beginning to understand the range of skills that are necessary to do the job well.
Minimum qualifications of an educational interpreter should include:
- A formal assessment of interpreting skills
- An Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) score of at least a 4.0
- Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) certification
- NAD-RID certification (NIC) at a certified level
- NAD certification of at least a 4.0
- Degree or coursework in an educationally-related field
- BA degree (preferred)
- Graduate of an Interpreter Training Program
- 24 – 30 credit hours of educational coursework
- A formal assessment of content knowledge related to educational interpreting (for example, a passing score on the EIPA Written Test)
- The ability to perform as a professional member of the educational team (For example, as stated in the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment Code of Professional Conduct).
Research shows that even graduates of two-year Interpreter Training Programs may not achieve an EIPA score of 3.5, a common standard in many states.
Unqualified interpreters cannot provide access to free and appropriate public education (FAPE). Research shows that interpreters who fall below minimum standards omit and distort a significant amount of teacher and peer communication. When an interpreter is not highly qualified, a deaf or hard of hearing student misses vital classroom communication and does not receive adequate access to the general education curriculum.