Question by jeslygoldberry: I want to be a professional deaf interpreter, what must I do to become one?
What kind of schooling would I need? What programs are there in the state of Arizona?
Answer by Nicole
To find programs to become an interpreter (Interpreter Training Program/ITP) check out www.rig.org They are the national organization for interpreters. On their website, on the left side you’ll see a small menu and one of the options is to search for an ITP.
Currently, according to RID bylaws, a minimum of an Associate’s Degree is required to sit for their National Interpreter Certification (NIC) test. In 2012, this minimum will be raised to a Bachelor’s. These degrees do not have to be in Interpreting or in Deafness. My personal suggestion is if you are going to be going to school anyway, get your degree in Interpreting, at least the Associate’s. To take the RID NIC test you have to take a written portion that heavily focuses on laws, history and ethics of interpreting and going through a program of some kind will help with that test greatly.
I do know in Arizona there is a license required to work as an interpreter. Since I live out of state, I’m not sure of all the specifics to that, but if you search “Arizona RID” I’m sure you’ll find a local/state chapter that can help you with all that information. They may even have a member directory or contact info to ask about local programs.
Hope that helped!
(Oh, and it’s “interpreter for the Deaf” or “ASL Interpreter”! “Deaf Interpreter” implies that YOU are Deaf, which is a WHOLE different thing!)
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