Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI)

Holders of this certification are deaf or hard of hearing and have demonstrated knowledge and understanding of interpreting,  deafness, the Deaf community, and Deaf culture. Holders have specialized training and/or experience in the use of gesture, mime, props, drawings and other tools to enhance communication. Holders possess native or near-native fluency in American Sign Language and are recommended for a broad range of assignments where an interpreter who is deaf or hard-of-hearing would be beneficial. This credential has been available since 1998.

The CDI certification process begins with a multiple-choice CDI Knowledge Exam. Candidates are eligible for the CDI Knowledge Exam if they meet the 40 hour training requirement. Candidates who have passed the knowledge exam within 5 years and meet RID’s educational requirement may then take the CDI Performance Exam. The CDI Performance Exam is a videotape assessment.

CDI Certification Process

June 23, 2016, RID established the Center for the Assessment of Sign Language Interpretation, LLC (CASLI) to take over the administration and ongoing development and maintenance of exams. Eligibility requirements and the credentialing of any and all individuals will remain the responsibility of RID. With this shift in responsibilities candidates will need to contact both RID and CASLI during different times in the certification process. For more information view our CASLI FAQ page. 

  1. Review all pertinent CDI webpages on the CASLI website
  2. Submit an audiogram or letter from audiologist and proof of meeting the 40 hour training requirement to RID
  3. Apply for the CDI Knowledge Exam
  4. Pass the CDI Knowledge Exam
  5. Submit proof of meeting the associates’ degree educational requirement to RID (The bachelor’s degree requirement has been delayed until the new CDI Performance Exam is available. The BA degree requirement will go into effect six months after the new CDI Performance Exam available for test administration – scheduled for 2018)
  6. Apply for the RID CDI Bridge Plan (once available)