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Quality Assurance of Educational Interpreters

Since July 1, 2000, American Sign Langauge (ASL) educational interpreters have been required by law to demonstrate proficiency through certification and completion of interpreter or transliterator (e.g., cued speech) accredited preparation programs. Sign language proficiency skills are evaluated by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) to grant certification. There have been questions about the feasibility for time-limited extensions of the provisional certificate’s documentation as well as the accuracy of the EIPA score in determining skill level of educational sign language interpreters.

Who this impacts

  • Students who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing
  • Educational Interpreters
  • Schools who seek to employ educational sign language interpreters


On May 8, 2015, Brenda Cassellius, the Commissioner of Education, released the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) memo explaining that there were, and continue to be, issues related to scores obtained by provisionally certified interpreters who have not yet met the 4.0 EIPA score standard. Due to the high demand for educational interpreters and the need to secure more time to assist provisional educational interpreters with improving their skills, the Commissioner of Education continues to temporarily accept a 3.5-3.9 score on the EIPA while interpreter candidates strive to improve to the 4.0 score standard. The Minnesota Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing will continue to monitor discussions about educational sign language interpreter certification and the requirements currently in law. The Minnesota Department of Education and Regional Low Incidence Facilitators throughout the state of Minnesota will start the discussion on the qualification requirements in 2020. Stakeholders including educational interpreters, administrators, teachers, and parents will need to come together and have consensus before going to legislators with recommendations for changes in the law.

Who was involved?

  • Mary Cashman-Bakken, Minnesota Department of Education
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing Advisory Committee, Minnesota Department of Education
  • Regional Low Incidence Facilitators
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