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Tina Maggio, Director of Communications
It is RID’s function to support our membership by providing the foundation needed to launch and sustain careers while ensuring quality service to the Deaf community. We do this through a strategic plan that encompasses Standards, Relationships and Resources. RID strives to improve the quality, quantity and qualifications of sign language interpreters through its three main triad of services -- National Testing System, Certification Maintenance Program, and Ethical Practices System.
With a membership of more than 16,000 individuals, RID is governed by an eleven (11) member board of directors and supported by the staff at RID Headquarters. Additionally, the association has more than 50 state and local affiliate chapters.
Established in 1964 and incorporated in 1973, RID is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Following is the breakdown of RID membership numbers for FY 2011:
9,492 RID Certified members
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
For complete access to the ADA, go to the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) website at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm
Below is information relevant to the utilization of interpreters from the ADA. The source of this information is from http://www.ada.gov/taman3.html#III-4.3100
III-4.3200 Effective communication. In order to provide equal access, a public accommodation is required to make available appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure effective communication. The type of auxiliary aid or service necessary to ensure effective communication will vary in accordance with the length and complexity of the communication involved.
Who decides what type of auxiliary aid should be provided? Public accommodations should consult with individuals with disabilities wherever possible to determine what type of auxiliary aid is needed to ensure effective communication. In many cases, more than one type of auxiliary aid or service may make effective communication possible. While consultation is strongly encouraged, the ultimate decision as to what measures to take to ensure effective communication rests in the hands of the public accommodation, provided that the method chosen results in effective communication.
Who is a qualified interpreter? There are a number of sign language systems in use by persons who use sign language. (The most common systems of sign language are American Sign Language and signed English.) Individuals who use a particular system may not communicate effectively through an interpreter who uses another system. When an interpreter is required, the public accommodation should provide a qualified interpreter, that is, an interpreter who is able to sign to the individual who is deaf what is being said by the hearing person and who can voice to the hearing person what is being signed by the individual who is deaf. This communication must be conveyed effectively, accurately, and impartially, through the use of any necessary specialized vocabulary.
Can a public accommodation use a staff member who signs "pretty well" as an interpreter for meetings with individuals who use sign language to communicate? Signing and interpreting are not the same thing. Being able to sign does not mean that a person can process spoken communication into the proper signs, nor does it mean that he or she possesses the proper skills to observe someone signing and change their signed or fingerspelled communication into spoken words. The interpreter must be able to interpret both receptively and expressively.
If a sign language interpreter is required for effective communication, must only a certified interpreter be provided? No. The key question in determining whether effective communication will result is whether the interpreter is "qualified," not whether he or she has been actually certified by an official licensing body. A qualified interpreter is one "who is able to interpret effectively, accurately and impartially, both receptively and expressively, using any necessary specialized vocabulary." An individual does not have to be certified in order to meet this standard. A certified interpreter may not meet this standard in all situations, e.g., where the interpreter is not familiar with the specialized vocabulary involved in the communication at issue.
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