As the RID membership is aware, the CDI remains under moratorium due to an expired life cycle, and CASLI has been tasked with the responsibility to develop a new iteration of the knowledge and performance exam. To allow for Deaf interpreters to continue to seek some level of credentialing as generalist practitioners while the new test is being developed, the RID Board of Directors committed to establishing a bridge plan. To this end, a CDI Bridge Plan workgroup was formed in spring 2016 and submitted a proposal to the RID Board for approval in September 2016.
Within the proposed plan was the recommendation that the ASLPI and a specific rating on the ASLPI rating scale be used to validate the language competence of test takers. Because the ASLPI is an assessment tool that focuses on determining a level of ASL fluency based on communicative competence, it differs from how language competence is measured in the current iteration of the CDI. Within the CDI performance test, ASL fluency is part of the overall metric and it is measured in application to interpreting tasks. In the CDI performance exam, it is not measured through a separate metric and a specific level of ASL fluency is not quantified. Therefore, to include the ASLPI in the bridge plan would be an addition that is not functionally equivalent to the current version of the CDI.
As well, until convention motion 2007.4 regarding the establishment and adoption of criteria for recognizing tests other than RID’s by the membership is operationalized, the Board does not have the authority to adopt a test developed by an entity outside of RID.
For these two reasons, after several meetings with members of the CDI Bridge Plan workgroup and consultation with legal counsel, the inclusion of the ASLPI as part of the CDI bridge plan was not approved by the board. The recommendation of observation of interpreting performance during a range of interpreting tasks was approved and it is within the observation process that approved observers will assess ASL competence, as has been the custom within the current CDI performance metric. RID has identified and set aside training funds for this purpose.
The specific process by which a deaf interpreter can receive a Provisional Deaf Interpreter [PDI] credential is being laid out in detail and will be published in January 2017. Soon thereafter, a Call for PDI Observers will be conducted and training for those selected will begin. Once approved observers are available, deaf interpreters who meet all of the pre-requisites can apply for the PDI.
It is important to note that the PDI is only a temporary credential and it is not equivalent to the CDI. It is a temporary credential designed to allow individuals who have passed the written exam and other pre-requisites to be candidates for the CDI performance test, the opportunity to gain a credential they can use in gaining employment during the period of moratorium. It will be important that interpreter referral agencies and other hiring entities exercise close supervision and caution when placing a deaf interpreter with a PDI in an assignment.
It is also important to note that the RID board is not opposed to the idea of the ASLPI, or similar assessment tool being part of the pre-requisites for certification, but believes consideration of any separate metric for measuring language competence must occur at the test development level for the new CDI and NIC. The test development process falls under the scope of CASLI. Further, requiring a separate assessment of language competence for individuals seeking certification would also mean CM 2007.4 must first be operationalized and approved by the RID membership.
Thank you for your attention to this information. Further information will be forthcoming.