ASL Interpreting for
Education & Schools
What should I expect from my Educational Interpreter?
Educational sign language interpreters play an important role in educating deaf students. They should be familiar with and adhere to the individual school district’s policies and procedures. Their help allows deaf students to have the same opportunities as their non-deaf classmates and to fully take part in classroom and extracurricular activities. The interpreter facilitates communication between deaf students and their teachers, peers, and administration. They also assist in other activities like field trips, club meetings, and athletic programs. This provides support for deaf students and allows them to fully engage in the school community.
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Providing qualified Educational Interpreters in schools
It is imperative to provide a qualified educational interpreter as content varies significantly based on grade level. In the primary grades, the interpreter must be knowledgeable in a variety of subjects. They also need to have a basic understanding of child development and language acquisition. Interpreters in educational settings often play an important role in promoting language development for deaf students. It is critical that they are highly skilled and can provide accurate and consistent communication.
The secondary grades require a high level of specialization and a technical vocabulary. To ensure accurate and clear communication, it’s essential that interpreters are qualified and experienced in this area.
How do I know if an Interpreter is qualified?
The Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) is a nationally recognized test administered by Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. To become certified, interpreters must pass a written knowledge exam as well as take a performance assessment. They are then given a score ranging from 1.0 (Beginner) to 5.0 (Advanced). Many states have set a standard for interpreters to work in the state, often 3.5 and above.
The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) has developed several national certifications. These certifications are widely accepted and valued throughout the United States. The National Interpreter Certification (NIC) evaluates candidates on general knowledge of the interpreting field, ethical decision-making, and interpreting skills. RID has teamed with the EIPA to provide an educational certificate (Ed:K-12). To earn the Ed:K-12, interpreters must meet educational requirements, pass the EIPA written exam, and pass the EIPA performance assessment with a level of 4.0 or above.
Many states have their own evaluation systems to determine the qualifications of an interpreter. This assessment process helps to ensure that everyone has access to qualified interpreters when they need them.