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 Code.  Each educational interpreter shall be subject to that portion of Section 24-5 of the Code that requires physical fitness and freedom from tuberculosis as may be required by Illinois Department of Public Health rules (77 Ill. Adm. Code 696; Control of Tuberculosis Code).  Each educational interpreter shall hold a statement of approval or endorsement 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 or endorsement shall submit an application to the State Superintendent, along with the fee required under Section 21B-40 of the Code for those applicants who hold a PEL and evidence that the individual 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 meet one of the following criteria:


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 State Board on one of the examinations for paraprofessionals discussed in Section 25.510(b);


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);


E)        hold a high school diploma and have passed the Board for Evaluation of Interpreters Test of English Proficiency; or


F)         hold a high school diploma and have achieved a level 2 or above on the Interpreter Skills Assessment Screening.


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 Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) Basic Certification or higher issued by a state that is a licensed user of the BEI system.


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 provides evidence of meeting one of the criteria listed in subsection (a)(1).


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


b)         Validity; Renewal

Approval shall be valid for five fiscal years, subject to the provisions of Section 21B-20 of the 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 (see Section 25.800).  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 and any required professional development must be completed prior to a new approval being issued.


c)         Revocation or Suspension of Approval or other Permissible Sanction

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


(Source:  Amended at 47 Ill. Reg. 5954, effective April 11, 2023)