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Educational Interpreters and Interpreter Licensure

  1. Who is considered an “Educational Interpreter”?
    Interpreters who provide interpreting services to deaf and hard of hearing students in the K-12 setting and in compliance with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Rules.
  2. When interpreting only in the educational K-12 setting, do I need an interpreter license?
    No. Under Section 25 of the Interpreters for the Deaf Licensure Act of 2007, educational interpreters in compliance with ISBE are exempt.
  3. Is interpreting in post-secondary settings such as college and university classes considered “educational interpreting”?
    No. An Educational interpreter is one that provides interpreting services in educational environments under the regulatory authority of ISBE.
  4. Is it still “educational interpreting” when interpreting for a deaf or hard of hearing student in a school sponsored extra-curricular events such as sports or field trips?
    Yes. An educational environment includes activities not only in the classroom but includes laboratories, shops, playgrounds, libraries or other educational settings.
  5. Can an “educational interpreter” interpret for deaf adults such as parents or teachers when part of the school activities such as staff meetings or parent-teacher conferences?
    No. An educational interpreter is one that provides interpreting services to a deaf or hard of hearing student. When interpreting for a deaf or hard of hearing adult, the interpreter must be licensed and have the required proficiency level for the interpreting assignment.
  6. I don’t see school activities listed under any of the proficiency levels in the Interpreter Licensure rules?
    The proficiency levels list broad categories of interpreting assignments. A school providing services to a deaf parent would fall under government services. However, an interpreter for a deaf staff member would fall under employment. The interpreting assignment must be looked at on a case by case basis to determine the correct license proficiency level. 
  7. What level of a licensed interpreter is needed when interpreting for a deaf adult in the following settings:
    - Parent Teacher Conferences – General License, Intermediate Proficiency Level
    - Staff Socials or Parent’s Night – Provisional License
    - Staff Meetings – General License, Intermediate Proficiency Level
    - IEP Meetings – Depends on who the interpreting services are for, a Deaf parent would require an Interpreter with a General License, Intermediate Proficiency Level. For a deaf student, it could be an Educational Interpreter; however, it cannot be the educational interpreter which is part of the IEP team. An educational interpreter part of the team cannot individually participate and interpret at the same time.