How to Be in Compliance with the MN QA Law*
A sign language interpreter or cued translator is hired at a K-12 school in Minnesota...now what?
If the interpreter/transliterator is certified (in accordance with RID's recognized certifications) AND has graduated from an interpreter education program, they are in compliance with the law. As long as they continue to hold valid certification and follow the RID Code of Professional Conduct, the interpreter/transliterator and school district is in compliance.
If the interpreter/transliterator is pre-certified AND has graduated from an interpreter education program, they should adhere to the following steps.
1.) After getting hired by a Minnesota school, print out the Two Year Provisional form for ASL Interpreters. This must be filled out and signed by both the interpreter/transliterator and a district representative. It should then be sent to Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). With this certificate, for the next two academic years, both the interpreter/transliterator and school are in compliance ONLY if the interpreter/transliterator is provided with weekly mentoring.
During these two years, it is in the best interest of the interpreter/transliterator to be seeking out additional mentoring and skill development opportunities. (Deaf mentors, additional interpreter mentors, workshops, conferences, independent studies, study groups, attempting to take the certification test, etc…) In the case of needing to file for an extension of the provisional certificate, any additional mentoring or professional development work will be evidence to support the rationale for the need of the extension.
If the interpreter/transliterator is reaching the end of their two year provisional certificate time period and they have NOT yet achieved certification, an extension should be filed. Follow the steps below to complete the extension process.
2.) DUE MAY 13: Request and Extension for an Interpreter/Transliterator - Letter of Intent
This is a one-page form that is mostly contact information of the interpreter/transliterator and the school district.
3.) DUE JUNE 3:
a.) Completed by Interpreter/transliterator:
i.) Request an Extension for an Interpreter/Transliterator - Cover Sheet and Checklist
This provides a list of all requirements in order to complete the extension process. It helps to print this first thing to get an overview of everything that is required.
ii.) Request an Extension for an Interpreter/Transliterator - Form A
Helpful Hint for “Part D: Rationale”: This portion of the form is the interpreter/transliterator’s opportunity to explain the reasoning for an extension and to show MDE the evidence/work they have done. It is a good idea to explain any extra training, skill development, mentoring, supplemental mentoring outside of state requirements, and the attempts at testing; plus, future plans for testing and continued practice.
b.) Completed by 4 individuals in support of extension:
i.) Request an Extension for an Interpreter/Transliterator - Form B
Print out 4 copies of this document. These must be given to the interpreter/transliterator’s mentor, a parent of the pupil served by the interpreter/transliterator, the special education director of the school district, and a representative from Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division (DHHSD). The 4 individuals are to send them directly to MDE so remember to include pre-addressed and postage paid envelopes for them. *The representative at DHHS can change from year to year. The interpreter’s mentor should know who the representative is and if they don’t, contact an interpreter from Step 2 to help figure it out.
*Recent Update with Minnesota Certification Requirements 5/5/15: MDE has decided that temporarily (unknown end date) they will allow interpreters that received a 3.5-3.9 (4.0 is considered nationally certified by RID) on the EIPA test to continue working in K-12 schools even after their provisional certificate has lapsed; however, they need to send a letter to MDE stating the need for this additional extension, they still must be provided with weekly mentoring, and continuing to work towards national certification.