RID: Adding Value to the Profession and for the Consumer through Organizational Effectiveness, Certification, Membership Support & Engagement, Advancement of the Profession, and Fiscal Stability & Sustainability.

The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID), a national membership organization, plays a leading role in advocating for excellence in the delivery of interpretation and transliteration services between people who use sign language and people who use spoken language. In collaboration with the Deaf community, RID supports our members and encourages the growth of the profession through the establishment of a national standard for qualified sign language interpreters and transliterators, ongoing professional development and adherence to a code of professional conduct.

RID’s function is 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 comprehensive strategic plan.


Outcome: The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) will ensure organizational viability through efficient and effective governance and operations.


1.1   Enhance the organization’s design, governance, and leadership.
1.2  Promote the inclusion of underrepresented and marginalized communities on the RID  Board of Directors, within Headquarters staff, and in other leadership roles.
1.3  Revitalize leadership effectiveness at all levels of the organization.
1.4  Deploy a comprehensive communication strategy that supports and promotes the organization’s mission, vision, and values.


Outcome: The RID will achieve a fully functional and reliable certification “system”.


2.1   Ensure an efficient, effective, and sustainable Ethical Practices System (EPS).
2.2  Ensure an efficient, effective, and sustainable certification process.
2.3  Ensure an efficient, effective, and sustainable Certification Maintenance Program (CMP).


Outcome:  The RID will deliver an exceptional member experience.


3.1   Enhance customer service by the RID Board of Directors and Headquarters staff.
3.2  Provide an attractive package of members’ benefits, products, services, and educational experiences.
3.3  Increase the effectiveness and relevance of the national organization’s support to Affiliate Chapters (AC) and subgroups.
3.4  Promote the inclusion of underrepresented and marginalized communities within RID membership and affiliated chapters.
3.5  Improve and increase the direct engagement opportunities between leadership and members, both members-to-leaders and leaders-to-members.


Outcome:  The RID will promote the growth, recognition, awareness, and interests of the profession through education and advocacy.


4.1  Support members in their practice as professionals.
4.2  Enhance public awareness of the profession within the domains of legislation, media, and government.
4.3  Establish new and improve existing partnerships with key organizations and community groups.
4.4  Foster greater awareness of sign language interpreting as a professional career.


Outcome: The RID will enhance the fiscal stability and sustainability of the organization through responsible stewardship and accountability.


5.1  Achieve and maintain a balanced budget.
5.2  Create long-term strategies for financial health/sustainability of the organization.
5.3  Provide information and resources to members about organizational financial status.

“The interpreter scene prior to 1964 was so vastly different from that which exists today that it is a strain on the imagination to contemplate it … We did not work as interpreters, but rather volunteered our services as our schedules permitted. If we received any compensation it was freely given and happily accepted, but not expected.” – Lou Fant, RID biographer

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The founding of RID was an unexpected outcome of a workshop held June 14-17, 1964, at Ball State Teachers College (Ball State University) in Muncie, Indiana. The purpose of the workshop was to bring a more formal and structured foundation to the training of interpreters and to upgrade services and support offered to persons who are deaf.

Many of the participants of the workshop, which included both deaf and hearing individuals, felt that the formalization of interpreting as a profession was an idea whose time had arrived. After a name change, incorporation in 1972, and various growing pains, RID continued its evolution into its present form.

RID is a member-driven organization. As such, the RID Headquarters makes it a priority to report annually to the membership.