Section 25.550  Approval of Educational Interpreters


Each educational interpreter who serves students with hearing loss in the public schools shall be of good character, as defined in Section 21B-15 of the School Code [105 ILCS 5].  Each educational interpreter shall be subject to that portion of Section 24-5 of the School Code that requires physical fitness and freedom from tuberculosis as may be required under rules of the Illinois Department of Public Health at 77 Ill. Adm. Code 696 (Control of Tuberculosis Code).  Each educational interpreter shall hold a statement of approval from the State Superintendent of Education, which shall be identified as valid either for sign language interpreting or oral transliteration.  Each individual who is required to hold a statement of approval shall submit an application to the State Superintendent, along with the fee required under Section 21B-40 of the School Code for those applicants who hold a professional educator license and evidence that he or she meets the requirements applicable to the type of approval sought.


a)         Approval Criteria


1)         Each applicant for approval as an educational interpreter either for sign language interpreter or oral transliteration shall:


A)        have completed 60 semester hours of college credit from one or more regionally accredited institutions of higher education;


B)        hold an associate's degree issued by a regionally accredited institution of higher education;


C)        hold a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent and have achieved the score identified as passing by the Illinois State Board of Education on one of the examinations for paraprofessionals discussed in Section 25.510(b); or


D)        hold a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent and have passed the written examination administered by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID).


2)         Each applicant for approval as a sign language interpreter also shall have:


A)        attained a rating of Level 3.5 or above on the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA);


B)        maintained a valid certification from the RID; or


C)        maintained a valid Illinois Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (IL BEI) Basic Certification or higher issued by the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission.


3)         Each applicant for approval for oral transliteration also shall have attained Transliteration Skills Certification at Level 3 or above.


4)         If the applicant is unable to provide evidence of meeting one of the criteria set forth in subsection (a)(2), a one-time, interim approval shall be granted if each of the following conditions are met.  The interim approval is valid until June 30 following two years of the approval being issued.  The provisions of this subsection (a)(4) shall not apply to individuals who held initial approval issued prior to June 30, 2013.


A)        The applicant shall provide evidence of meeting one of the criteria listed in subsection (a)(1).


B)        The applicant shall have attained a rating of at least Level 3.0 on the EIPA.


b)         Validity; Renewal

Approval shall be valid for five years, subject to the provisions of Section 21B-20 of the School Code, and shall be renewable upon presentation of evidence that, during the five-year period of the approval's validity, the individual has completed 50 clock hours of professional development activities.  Sign language interpreter approvals shall be renewed between April 1 and June 30 of each renewal cycle.  If the approval is not renewed during this time period it will expire.


c)         Continuing Professional Development


1)         An individual may accrue clock hours of professional development by participating in conferences, workshops, institutes, seminars, symposia, or other, similar training events that:


A)        are designed to improve the skills and knowledge of interpreters for the deaf; or


B)        are organized by an entity that is approved pursuant to Section 25.855 and address educational concerns.


2)         An individual may accrue the required clock hours for continuing professional development by completing college coursework that is part of an interpreter training program offered by a regionally accredited institution of higher education or an Illinois community college.  Clock hours will be credited based on 1 semester hour of college coursework being equivalent to 15 clock hours of professional development activities.


3)         Evidence of Completion


A)        Each individual who will be required to complete professional development as a condition of renewal shall electronically sign a statement of assurance in ELIS attesting to completion of the required activities.  For any activity completed under subsection (c)(1), the individual shall retain the evidence of completion form provided by the entity organizing the event.


B)        As evidence of completion of college coursework, the individual shall retain a grade report or official transcript issued by the institution indicating that he or she has passed the course or courses.


C)        An educational interpreter who earned continued professional development units (CPDUs) on or before June 30, 2014 shall have those CPDUs converted to clock hours in accordance with Section 25.800(d).


d)         Revocation or Suspension of Approval or other Permissible Sanction

The provisions of Section 25.510(e) shall apply to the revocation or suspension of approval or other permissible sanction for educational interpreters.


(Source:  Amended at 41 Ill. Reg. 8813, effective June 28, 2017)