PA 07-15—HB 7109

Human Services Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING CERTIFICATION STANDARDS FOR PERSONS PROVIDING INTERPRETER SERVICES

SUMMARY: This act broadens the law governing accreditation for individuals who are paid for providing interpreter services to deaf and hearing-impaired people. It adds interpreters who hold only a National Association of the Deaf-National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (NAD/RID) national interpreting certificate to those able to provide such services. And it changes the testing requirement for interpreters who use other credentials to become interpreters.

The act also makes technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

CREDENTIALS FOR INTERPRETERS

Interpreting in Non-Legal or –Medical Settings

By law, a person registered with the Commission on Deaf and Hearing Impaired (CDHI) may provide interpreting services in any setting to deaf and hearing-impaired individuals. In non-legal or –medical settings, the individual also must have passed a national exam and obtain continuing education credits or meet one of several other accreditation standards. For interpreters choosing the national test as part of their accreditation, the act changes the requirements as follows:

Minimum Level Certification/Continuing Education

National Test—Prior Law

National Test—The Act

Level III certification from National Association of the Deaf (NAD) or graduate of accredited interpreter training program; five years of continuing education units

National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (NRID), written generalist test

NRID generalist test or National Association of the Deaf-National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (NRID) Certification Knowledge Exam;

Pass NRID performance examination or NAD-NRID Interpreter certification exam within five years of passing first test

Apparently, under prior practice, once the five years were up, the interpreter could no longer legally provide interpreter services unless he or she obtained another type of accreditation.

The act also allows people who hold only the NAD-NRID interpreting certificate to be interpreters.

Medical and Legal Settings

The accreditation requirements for interpreters working in medical or legal settings are slightly different from those required in other settings. Like the other settings, interpreters can legally interpret in medical or legal settings if they meet one of several standards, such as maintaining skills certificates. The act allows individuals to hold a NAD-NRID national interpreting certificate to satisfy the accreditation requirement in medical or legal settings.

The act also allows someone interpreting in a medical setting to have a NAD certification level higher than IV. Prior law required medical interpreters to have a level IV certification. (To interpret in legal settings, a Level V certification is required if the interpreter wishes to use this accreditation. )

Finally, the act changes the definition of medical setting for interpreter services purposes. Previously, these settings had to require the presence of a doctor or nurse. The act allows other health care professionals to be present. It also changes the definition of legal setting to include any court of competent jurisdiction, not just the Superior Court.

BACKGROUND

Merging of National Testing

In 2005, the NRID and NAD merged their certification test for interpreters, to create the NAD-RID certification.

OLR Tracking: RCSS: PF: dw