Interpreters and Translators
Deaf Interpreters Certification Information:
Sign language interpreters are often required to demonstrate interpreting skills by participating in a formal or informal certification or screening process. The certification process is generally a proficiency evaluation where minimum standards have been established to determine a specific level of competency. Interpreters may become certified on a National or state level if the state offers certification.
A Qualified Deaf Interpreter must hold one of the following credentials in Virginia:
1. Certification from any national organization whose certification process has been recognized by the Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing; or
2. A current screening level awarded by the Virginia Quality Assurance Screening Program of the Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing; or
3. A screening level or recognized evaluation form any other state when:
a. The credentials meet the minimum requirements of Virginia Quality Assurance screening and ;
b. The credentials are valid and current in the state issued.
The Virginia Quality Assurance Screening Level allows interpreters to perform interpreting services and are given information about contracting with VDDHH to provide interpreting services in Virginia and to be listed in the state wide "Directory of Qualified Interpreters for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing." Screening Levels last for 3 years from the date the Level was awarded. Candidates are encouraged to wait at least one year before retaking any portion of the assessment to allow for sufficient time to develop their skills, as well as for the development of additional assessment materials.
Virginia Quality Assurance Screening:
The VQAS is not a certification process, but a screening process. It consists of the following 2 parts:
1. Must pass 90% of a written assessment of at least 50 multiple choice questions that apply the RID code of Ethics to working situations in order to qualify to participate in the Performance Assessment portion of the exam.
2. Performance: Candidates are assessed on their ability to transliterate 3 situations and interpret 3 situations from 6 five minute videotaped scenarios. Assessments are conducted by at least two raters who are deaf, two nationally certified interpreters, and two trained hearing people. Raters also identify specific competencies in the candidateâ€™s ability to sign, voice, and function as a professional interpreter that include: voice to sign skills, sign to voice skills, and both voice to sign and sign to voice (interactive) skills, (simulated interpreting/ transliterating situations).
Registration forms can be accessed online at www.vddhh.org and must be post marked at least three weeks prior to the date of the assessment with the required fees.
In order to work as an Educational Interpreter in Virginia, personnel must meet the following requirements :
1. The qualification requirements for personnel providing interpreting services are as follows:
a. Personnel providing educational interpreting services for children using sign language shall have: Virginia Quality Assurance Screening (VQAS) Level III, any Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Certificate (excluding Certificate of Deaf Interpretation) or any other state or national certification recognized by the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard - of - Hearing as equivalent to or exceeding the VQAS Level III.
B. Personnel providing educational interpreting services for children using cued speech or cued language shall have a Virginia Quality Assurance Screening Level III for cued speech or hold a Transliteration Skills Certificate from the Testing, Evaluation and Certification Unit (TEC Unit).
C. Personnel providing educational interpreting services for children requiring oral interpreting shall meet minimum requirements for competency on the Virginia Quality Assurance Screeningâ€™s written assessment of the Code of Ethics.
2. Personnel who provide interpreting services for children who use sign language or cued speech or cued language and who do not hold the required qualifications may be employed in accordance with all of the following criteria:
a-Personnel shall have a Virginia Quality Assurance Screening Level I, or its equivalent, as determined by the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard - of - Hearing, upon hiring date in any local educational agency in Virginia;
b-Personnel shall achieve the qualification requirements by the third anniversary of their hiring date in any local educational agency in Virginia; and
c-The local educational agency shall annually inform the Virginia Department of Education of: (i) the personâ€™s name, social security number, and hiring date; (ii) the personâ€™s progress toward meeting the qualification requirements; and (iii) the personâ€™s development plan.
3. Waiver of qualification requirements for personnel providing interpreting services.
A. Conditions for requesting a waiver.
(1) The local educational agency superintendent or director of a private special education school that is licensed or has a certificate to operate shall request a waiver of the qualification requirements for personnel who do not meet the qualification requirements for providing interpreting services. The request shall include a statement certifying that the local educational agency or private special education school has recruited personnel who meet the qualification requirements and has not had
three or more applicants who hold at least a VQAS Level I.
(2) A waiver may be provided for personnel who do not hold the qualifications in subdivision 2 a of this subsection, and who hold interpreting credentials from another state or who have registered to take the VQAS, and who take the assessment as scheduled. The waiver shall be in place only until the local educational agency receives the notice of equivalency of the out-of-state credential or of the attainment of the VQAS level. The waiver shall not be extended if a VQAS Level I, or higher, is not obtained.
(3) A waiver may be provided for one year for individuals who have not attained the qualification requirements in subdivision 2 b of this subsection and who hold a VQAS Level II. This waiver may be provided for one additional year if the individual continues to hold a VQAS Level II and has shown improvement in percentage scores.
B. Timeline for requesting a waiver. A request to waive the qualification requirements shall be submitted to the Virginia Department of Education within 30 days of the personâ€™s initial or continuing assignment to provide interpreting services, using a form authorized by the Virginia Department of Education.
SKILLS, ABILITIES, & PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
- Communicating clearly
- Dealing with complaints calmly
- Concentrating for long periods
- Thinking on oneâ€™s feet
- Making decisions on the basis of personal judgment and experience
- Attention to detail
- Ethical behavior
- Explaining complicated things to people
- Listening carefully to what someone else is saying
- Working well with many different kinds of people
- Manual dexterity
- Being comfortable in front of a large audience
Exam Fees For The Virginia Quality Assurance Screening Payable Only In The Form Of A Money Order Or CashierS Check. Registration Fees Are Nonrefundable And Are Due At Least 3 Weeks Prior To The Scheduled Assessment With A Registration Form.
For More Information, Contact:
Virginia Registry For Interpreters Of The Deaf
4810 W. Seminary Ave.
Richmond, VA 23227
Registry Of Interpreters For The Deaf
333 Commerce Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Virginia Department For The Deaf And Hard Of Hearing
Ratcliffe Building, Suite 203
1602 Rolling Hills Drive
Richmond, VA 23229-5012
Virginia Department Of Education
P.O. Box 2120
Richmond, VA 23218-2120
Virginia Association Of The Deaf
National Association Of The Deaf
814 Thayer Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910
American Sign Language Teachers Association
P.O. Box 92445
Rochester, NY 14692-9998
National Institute On Deafness And Other Communication Disorders
31 Center Dr, Msc 2320
Bethesda, MD 20892
National Cued Speech Association
23970 Hermitage Road
Cleveland, Oh 44122
The data sources for the information displayed here include: Virginia Career VIEW Research.