An interpreter program is a formalized education program with a dedicated curriculum that is offered through a college, university or technical school that prepares students for a career in the field of interpreting.

Below is a list of frequently asked questions that RID receives regarding interpreting programs. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Preparation for Earning Credentials

Beginning July 1, 2012, exam candidates will be required to hold a degree (any major) or submit an approved Educational Equivalency Application.  recorded in their RID account. While you may receive a degree in any field, one may find the background, skills development and theory learned in a recognized interpreter program are extremely beneficial in getting your national certification.

Most interpreter education programs provide you with the knowledge and skills to begin pursuing an interpreting career as well as a foundation to begin preparing for certification. Completion of a program is more like a driver’s permit that lets you operate in certain protected situations. Continued practice, participation in workshops and training experiences, and work with mentors will help prepare you to earn your certification. And certification opens many doors to a successful career for you in the interpreting profession.

Learning Sign Language

Sign language classes are offered throughout the community at schools and colleges, churches and recreation departments. Some of these are excellent, and some are very poor. The classes may be ASL, PSE, SEE or some mixture of all. Instructors may be experienced, professional educators, or people who have only taken a few classes themselves. Buyer beware!
Some things to consider or ask when choosing a class:

  • Is the instructor native or near-native fluent in American Sign Language (ASL)? Fluency in the language could be evidenced by RID certification or NAD or state Quality Assurance (QA) ratings in interpreting, or by an advanced or superior rating on the SCPI (Sign Communication Proficiency Interview). Be wary of instructors who just recently took classes themselves.
  • Is the instructor involved in the Deaf community and with professional organizations? It is very beneficial if the instructors have formally studied the language and the teaching profession. Credentials to look for include membership in the American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA) and/or the Conference of Interpreter Trainers (CIT) as well as organizations such as RID, NAD and Black Deaf Advocates (BDA).
  • What do you know about the or