Administrators - Interpreter Supervision
Ideally, a supervisor is a highly qualified interpreter who is very knowledgeable about the K-12 environment. Many larger school districts have established ”lead interpreter” positions, which many would consider to be best practice. In some school districts, another member of the educational team, such as the deaf educator or the speech language pathologist oversees the educational interpreter.
Often, the supervisor is not fluent in sign language and interpreting and must rely on a nationally accepted external evaluation to assess the interpreter’s skills. This may be theEducational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA), an evaluation tool designed for interpreters who work in educational settings. Or schools may require Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) certification, a certification designed for interpreters who work with adults.
Because evaluating interpreting skills is not a simple task, it is best to rely on external confirmation even if the interpreter’s supervisor is fluent in sign language and interpreting.
Someone fluent in sign communication should help evaluate how well the interpreter represents classroom communication and supports the implementation of the student’s IEP goals. A deaf individual with professional experience can often provide support and resources.
Even when the educational interpreter is assigned a specific supervisor, it is still important for other members of the educational team to provide input and supervision. Typically, the following team members offer recommendations regarding the educational interpreter’s performance:
- Classroom teacher
- Deaf educator
- Speech pathologist
- Educational audiologist