When a signed language interpreter is needed to facilitate communication access there are several aspects to be taken into consideration.
How to Find a Signed Language Interpreter
While we don’t provide signed language interpreting services for the community, we can provide resources. Interpreting may be arranged through a referral agency or privately. There are many benefits to working through a referral agency, including assistance from experts in finding an interpreter who is an appropriate linguistic match for your Deaf client, as well as convenience.
Agencies and individuals are encouraged to establish agreements with multiple companies for their interpreting needs, as none of the agreements are exclusive and often one agency is a better choice in one situation while another is a better fit for a different situation.
Please see the Fact Sheet entitled How to Find a Signed Language Interpreter in the “Information about Interpreters and Interpreting” section of our Fact Sheets page for a list of agencies serving New Mexico.
Interpreter Education in New Mexico
Becoming a Signed Language Interpreter is not a quick and easy process. It requires at least the same level of education as entering many other professions and requirements vary by state. Please see the Fact Sheet entitled How to Become a Signed Language Interpreter in the “Resources for Interpreters” section of our Fact Sheets page for detailed information.
Below is a list of interpreter education programs in and around New Mexico. These programs are for individuals who are interested in becoming signed language interpreters. The searchable database on the RID website also includes a listing of Interpreter Education Programs nationwide.
Four-Year Baccalaureate Degree Program
Two-Year Associate Degree Program
Training for Deaf Interpreters
There is no centralized organization that offers training for Deaf Interpreters, but we keep a list of options on our How to Become a CDI Fact Sheet found on our Fact Sheets page under “Resources for Interpreters.”
Working with a Signed Language Interpreter
A signed language interpreter is a specially trained professional who facilitates communication between individuals who communicate using signed language and those who do not.
In New Mexico, all signed language interpreters must be licensed by the Signed Language Interpreting Practices Board (SLIPB) at the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department to work in any community or educational settings.
Please see the Fact Sheet entitled Working with a Signed Language Interpreter in the “Information about Interpreters and Interpreting” section of our Fact Sheets page for detailed information on how to effectively provide effective communication through an interpreter.
Interpreter Testing and Certification
There are several avenues to becoming a certified signed language interpreter, and all of them require passing multiple tests.
In New Mexico, all signed language interpreters must be licensed by the state. To qualify for the Community Interpreter License, an interpreter must hold certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) or some certifications from the Board of Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI). To qualify for the Educational Interpreter License, interpreters must document their qualifications through the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) process. More detailed information about licensure in New Mexico can be found on our Licensure page.
We have created several Fact Sheets to assist interpreters with the process of working toward certification from RID or BEI, or toward qualifying for the Educational License through EIPA Assessments. RID testing is handled by the Center for Assessment of Sign Language Interpretation (CASLI).
Please see the “Resources for Interpreters” section of our Fact Sheets page for detailed information on these topics:
- CASLI Exam System Guide for Candidates
- CASLI Exam Transition FAQs
- Step by Step Guide for CASLI Testing Registration
- BEI Testing Process
- Step by Step Guide for BEI Testing Registration
- How to Study for the EIPA Tests
- Registering for the EIPA Tests