The Content Areas in which interpreters/ transliterators can receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are divided into two categories: Professional Studies (linguistic and cultural studies; theoretical and experiential studies; specialization studies) and General Studies (human service and leadership; general knowledge studies). In determining the Content Areas, the RID Professional Development Committee (PDC) considered the recommended standards in the curriculum section of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers’ (CIT) Educational Standards Package.

Professional Studies

Professional Studies contain content that directly applies or affects the field of interpreting/ transliterating.  These are areas of investigation that enhance the interpreting process regardless of the setting.  They are studies that deepen the member’s ability to provide excellence through their work. A minimum of 6.0 CEUs must be completed in this section during each Certification Maintenance Cycle. Examples of Professional Studies topics include, but are not limited to:

1. Advanced studies of language, culture, and human behavior:

Languaculture; intracultural and intercultural dynamics; and linguistic systems. Examples include, but are in no way limited to:

  • Studies of Language and Linguistics
    • Structure of ASL
    • Phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics
    • Language variation and language change
    • Sociolinguistics
    • Language and power
    • Language and cognition
    • Language Studies
      • Advanced English development (specialized vocabulary, grammar development, analysis of linguistic register, etc.)
      • Advanced ASL development (specialized vocabulary, grammar development, analysis of linguistic register, etc.)
      • Other advanced languages studies: e.g., Spanish, Japanese, Langue des Signes Francaise (LSF), Deutsche Gebärdensprache (DGS)
  • Languaculture and Cultural Studies (Note: languaculture refers to language mechanics and the use of language, including cultural components that inform the use of language, such as history and traditions. Term attributed to anthropologist Michael Agar.)
  •  Intracultural dynamics
    •  Communication studies (e.g., interpersonal communication)
    •  Studies of group dynamics
    •  Language as power
  •  Cultural Studies
    • Deaf culture
    • American culture
    • Religious Studies
  •  Intercultural dynamics
    • Studies of power, privilege and bias
    • Studies of social justice
    • Cross-cultural studies
    • Minority group dynamics
    • Language domination, suppression and elevation

2. Theoretical and Experiential Studies:

The process of interpreting/transliterating through the application of systems of principles, philosophy, ideas or concepts. Examples include:

  • History and issues in interpretation and transliteration
  • Theory of interpretation and transliteration
  • Skills development in interpretation and/or transliteration
  • Skills development in consecutive and simultaneous interpretation
  • Professional ethics, etc.

3. Specialization Studies:

Huge growth of the interpreting field has led many interpreters to specialize or focus in one or two settings of specialty. Commonly these are areas such as medical or mental healthcare, legal work or work in education at the K-12 level or in post-secondary settings. This requires interpreters to build competence and knowledge in areas of expanded technical vocabulary or systems knowledge that is not common or generally necessary for the generalist interpreter.  Building skills in more narrowly focused areas within the broader field of interpreting or transliterating.  Documentation must be present detailing the way in which the activity relates to the development of interpreting skills in that particular field or setting.  Examples include aspects of:

  • Educational settings (e.g., philosophies of Deaf education, graduate research strategies )
  • Rehabilitation settings
  • Legal settings (e.g., courtroom protocol, mediation law)
  • Medical or mental health settings (e.g. medical terminology, anatomy & physiology in ASL and English)
  • Substance abuse recovery programs
  • Technical areas
  • Ethics as applied in specialized settings, etc.

4. Power, Privilege & Oppression:

Refers to the phenomena by which members of a society are unfairly advantaged and may be unaware of, or unwilling to, recognize the advantage.  The result is oppression at the systemic, societal, and individual level wrongfully limiting another’s access to resources. This is rooted in the perception of entitlement – or lack thereof- based on social group membership and may manifest in covert and overt practices/behaviors that seek to keep that advantage, and result in abuse of assumed power and privilege. All of which contribute to perpetuating the privilege, individual biases, and social and systemic oppression. These behaviors can be but are not limited to:

  • Narratives/perspectives of fear and hate/stereotyping by those who are privileged
  • Assumed authority/dominance over “others” (internalized biases)
  • Agent & Target group membership ( e.g., exclusionary/preferential practices)
  • Control over social mobility
  • Unearned advantages and conferred dominance
  • Systems of oppression (e.g. ableism, ageism, audism, classism, racism,sexism, heterosexism, transgender oppression, vidism, etc. )
  • Dynamics of oppression (e.g. institutionalized oppression, prejudice, vertical and horizontal violence/bullying, etc.)
  • Stereotyping
  • Marginalization  
  • Support of the status quo  
  • Avoidance of conversations about “-isms”
  • Creation of barriers (e.g. poverty, unemployment, and the school to prison pipeline)
  • Unbalanced (or inequitable) access to wealth, professional/educational opportunities, social status
  • Internalized supremacy

Consistent with the RID Code of Professional Conduct, interpreters are required to develop the sensitivity needed to identify such phenomena, and build competence and knowledge in the following areas with a goal of promoting and practicing social justice and dismantling oppressive systems. Education in this sector should include, but not be limited to:

  • Challenging injustice
  • Respecting and valuing diversity
  • Respecting and valuing humanity
  • Protection of equal access
  • Identifying and embracing individual “filters”
  • Identifying and acknowledging individual perceptions of privilege
  • Changing the narratives of compassion and respect
  • Promoting inclusion, freedom and equality
  • Challenging the status quo
  • Engaging in conversations about “-isms”
  • Removal of barriers
  • Social Justice/Liberation studies
  • Cultural competence
  • Identity
  • Intersectionality
  • Invitational communication/interaction
  • Accountability
  • Trauma-informed approaches to interpreting

General Studies

General Studies include topics that enhance the interpreter/transliterator’s base of general or world knowledge.  The study must still be a legitimate educational program with clearly defined educational goals and measurable objectives. There are no minimum requirements for CEUs in this category, however, only two (2) of the eight (8) required CEUs will be counted toward certification maintenance.