Credentialing Task Force

NAIE is pursuing the establishment of a credentialing program, and recognizes as the national organization for interpreters working in education it is prudent of the organization to investigate the potential for a national certification model. Certification, or other credential, for educational interpreters is a critical step forward in the standardization of professional practice. 

While we understand the certification process is a complex issue in the interpreting field, the long-term goal is to have credentials recognized and enforced at the state-level as minimum requirements for interpreters working in K-12 educational settings. 

Standard Credentials for Interpreters in Education

There is currently no national standardized credential for interpreters working in education (See State Requirements for Educational Interpreters).  NAIE’s Professional Guidelines for Interpreting in Educational Settings  promotes the following standards of professional practice:

    • 1.1 Successfully completed a four-year degree in interpreting and has demonstrated knowledge in the areas of: educational theory, child and language development, roles and responsibilities in the educational environment, ethical and professional practices within an educational setting, state and federal laws related to special education and deaf education
    • 1.2 Completed a supervised internship or practicum placement in an educational setting
    • 2.1 Achieved at least a 4.0 on the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA)
    • 2.2 Earned a passing score on the EIPA Written Test 
    • 3.1 Develops and enhances both signing and interpreting skills through participation in professional training that builds upon current knowledge and skill competencies
    • 3.2 Accepts responsibility for developing and maintaining a relevant professional development plan, seeking a qualified mentor as necessary
    • 3.3 Meets professional development requirements as outlined by applicable state and/or local education agencies
    • 4.1 Is accountable for providing quality interpreting services under the supervision of applicable state and/or local education agencies
    • 4.2 Advocates for colleagues while holding the educational systems responsible for appropriate supervision
    • 4.3 Seeks out mentoring and professional development opportunities in response to appropriate feedback provided by qualified supervisors

Task Force Goals

The Credentialing Task Force (CTF) will investigate credentialing models, such as certification, to determine how one could possibly be implemented to provide a pathway to qualifying educational interpreters. Findings and recommendations will be provided directly to the NAIE Board of Directors. The CTF has been charged with the following tasks: 

  • Publish a white paper on the importance of certification for the educational interpreting field by January 2023.
  • Research credentialing program structures and provide a full report to the NAIE Board by January 2024.
  • Task force members, along with the NAIE Board, develop an action plan by January 2025.

Task Force Members

Stephanie Zito, MS, NIC, is a professional sign language interpreter and C-Print captionist. After studying interpreting at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she went on to earn her master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management. Stephanie’s career has primarily focused on access in postsecondary educational settings. Over the past decade, Stephanie has devoted much of her time to work with local, state, and national nonprofit organizations serving the deaf and interpreting communities. Most recently has has served as Board President for the National Association of Interpreters in Education (NAIE) from 2019-2022. Additionally, she has lead and consulted with groups focused on state regulatory requirements for sign language interpreters.

Anne began teaching the Educational Interpreting course at Cincinnati State in 2008 and over the years has altered the lessons as paradigms shift and practices become evidence based. Anne is also a licensed interpreter practitioner in the K-12 setting where she experiences the chaos created when professional interpreting standards are not clarified nor recognized. To improve working conditions, student outcomes, and hiring practices she wrote the white paper “Educational Interpreting: Credentials and Competencies Explained”, the guide “Tangible Solutions for Ohio Systems, Policies, & Legislation Regarding Educational Interpreting Services”, and the summary “Educational Interpreting Standards Review” while serving on OCRID and CDAE committees.

Kimberly Hutter, PhD is a Technical Assistance Specialist with the Center for Technical Assistance for Excellence in Special Education (TAESE) at Utah State University and an Adjunct Professor. Dr. Hutter has worked as a Program Specialist with the Division of Review & Support at Texas Education Agency and as an Instructor in an Interpreter Training Program at Spokane Falls Community College in Spokane, Washington. Dr. Hutter earned a Ph.D. in Special Education from UNCG and is a Fellow with the National Leadership Consortium in Sensory Disabilities (NLCSD). Her research focuses on state and federal policy and standards in relation to pre-service educational interpreter preparation and educational interpreters employed in K-12 settings. Kimberly has her M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction from Concordia University, Bachelor of Arts in Sign Language Interpretation from Siena Heights University, and Associate of Applied Science in Educational Interpreting from Northcentral Technical College. She holds her National Certification in Ed: K-12 Interpreting. In her spare time, Kimberly enjoys hiking, mountain biking, and spending time with her family.

Dr. Marian Berry is a psychologist with a focus on the deaf, a part-time sign language teacher, and a CASA Volunteer (Court Appointed Services Advocate) for deaf children. Her 2021 doctoral dissertation, “Educational Interpreters for the Deaf: Job Ambiguity and Role Conflict” was a culmination of years of personal and professional experiences. She is the mother of 3 deaf children who were educated at the California School for the Deaf (CSD) and public schools. Marian was impacted by her experiences with deaf education. She learned sign language at CSD, practiced as an educational interpreter in CA having satisfied CDE’s EIPA requirements, and coordinated EIPA, RID, and ASLPI testing. Today she continues to advocate for deaf children at their IEP meetings. 

Frances J. Beaurivage is a former employee of Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska, as a Sign Communication and Curriculum Specialist and as Manager of the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) Diagnostic Center.  She is currently hired as a consultant to the EIPA Diagnostic Center.  She also travels nationally to present to audiences information about the EIPA Performance Assessment and provides skills training workshops for interpreters working in K-12 educational settings.Frances holds dual certification (C.I. / C.T.) from the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID).

Linnae Janky is an employee with the Boys Town EIPA Center and has been an EIPA rater for 8 years. Linnae has over 16 years of ASL instruction experience in higher education and Interpreter Training Programs (ITP). After receiving her bachelor’s in Elementary Education she went on to receive her master’s in Deaf Education. Additionally, she is the Online Learning and Development Specialist for ASL at Proximity Learning. 

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