ASL Interpreter Certification Initiative
Purpose: The Independence Center of Colorado Springs and Disabled Resources Center of Fort Collins are seeking to increase the number of certified American Sign Language (ASL)/English Interpreters in the southern and northern communities we serve. Hopefully the rest of the state will benefit from this work as there seems to be a lack of certified interpreters across the state.
Initiative: In January 2019, we are going to ask the State Legislature to modify language in Title 6, Article 1: Colorado Consumer Protection Act 6-1-707. Use of title or degree – deceptive trade practice. We will be asking the Legislature to change the legal code to allow other certification processes or entities to be acceptable as determined by The Colorado Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deafblind. The Registry for Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) certification will still be accepted but we believe there are other credible sources of certification that should be recognized as well.
Goal: The Independence Center of Colorado Springs supports this action as it will ultimately improve the health and safety of our Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deafblind consumers as well as the hearing individuals with whom they interact, by allowing greater access to a larger pool of certified ASL/English interpreters throughout the state of Colorado.
Timeline: A bill with new language empowering the Commission to identify and implement new certification processes under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act 6-1-707 will be introduced in January 2019. The bill will go through several hearings in both the State House and Senate committees. If it passes both chambers, then it goes to the Governor for signature. After it is signed in to law, hopefully by Spring 2019, then the Commission will be tasked to go through its rule making process to set up acceptable certification practices/processes. We are hoping this change becomes operational by the end of 2019 or early 2020.
Getting involved: We will let you know how and when to sign on in support; when to come to one of several hearings at the Capitol and when to send a letter to your state representative and senator. Once passed, the Commission will be responsible for implementation.
If you have concerns, questions or want to support this work, please contact:
Matthew Ruggles (Deaf/HoH Community) VP: 719.358.2513 firstname.lastname@example.org
Naomi McCown (Interpreter Community) V: 719.471.8181 X149 email@example.com
Talking Points: To get talking points on the need to increase the types of certifications that are considered legitimate in the State of Colorado, you can download talking points in the two documents below.
Talking Points – Policy Briefing on Sign Language Interpreter Certification
Supporters: House Bill 19-1069 is supported by The Colorado Association of the Deaf (CAD). To read CAD’s letter of support, click the link below.