Interpreters for the Deaf (216-RICR-40-05-21)


216-RICR-40-05-21 ACTIVE RULE

21.1 Authority

These regulations are promulgated pursuant to the authority conferred under R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-71-5(d), for the purpose of adopting prevailing standards and qualifications pertaining to the licensure of interpreters for the deaf and to ensure that members of the interpreting profession perform with a high degree of competency in the State of Rhode Island.

21.2 Definitions

A. Wherever used in this Part, the following terms shall be construed as follows:

1. "Act" means R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 5-71, entitled, "Licensure of Interpreters for the Deaf Act.”

2. “American Sign Language” or “ASL” means the visual/gestural language used by deaf/Deaf people in the United States and Canada, with semantic, syntactic, morphological, and phonological rules which are distinct from English.

3. "Board" means the state Board of Examiners for Interpreters for the Deaf established pursuant to the provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-71-4 of the Act.

4. "Certified" means any individual who is a certified member of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc., (RID), its successor agency, or other agencies as approved by the Department in consultation with the Board.

5. “Certified deaf interpreter”, “Deaf interpreter” or “Deaf intermediary interpreter” means any individual who is deaf or hard of hearing and who is a certified member of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID) or its successor agency approved by the Department in consultation with the Board.

6. "Consumer" means an individual who is deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing or an individual with a disability who does not share a common means of communication. This may include, without limitation, American Sign Language (ASL), visual, gestural, auditory, and tactile modes of communication.

7. "Deaf-blind interpreting" means linguistic information through sign language acquired by individuals who are deaf-blind through their preferred methods depending on the causes of their combined vision and hearing loss, their background, and their education, such as close-vision interpreting and tactile interpreting, while spoken language is conveyed into sign language (e.g. ASL), and sign language (ASL) is conveyed into spoken language.

8. "Director" means the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health.

9. “Department” means the Rhode Island Department of Health.

10. “Educational interpreter” means an individual who has specialized certification (elementary and secondary education for grades kindergarten (K) through twelve (12)) and is a certified member of RID or its successor agency approved by the Department in consultation with the Board in the provision of sign language interpreting to students who are deaf, hard-of-hearing or deaf-blind in grades preschool through twelve (12).

11. "Emergency" means an urgent circumstance that demands immediate action in order for a consumer to avoid imminent harm or loss.

12. "Interpreter" means any person who engages in the practice of interpreting for the deaf as defined in § 21.2 of this Part.

13. “Interpreting" means conveying spoken English into American Sign Language (ASL) or conveying American Sign Language into English, or interpreting English to and/or from a visual gestural system.

14. "Intermediary interpreting" means interpreting services rendered by a deaf person to facilitate communication between another deaf person and a licensed interpreter.

15. “Manually coded English” or “MCE” or “Other manually coded sign systems” means any form of visual/gestural communication used by deaf or hard-of-hearing persons in the United States and Canada, with semantic and syntactic rules based either partly or entirely upon English. Such systems, include, but are not limited to, CASE (Conceptually Accurate Signed English), Pidgin Signed English (PSE), Signing Essential English, Signing Exact English, Sign Supported English, Signed English, and the Rochester method.

16. "Person" means any individual, firm, corporation, partnership, organization or body politic.

17. "Screened deaf interpreter" means any person who is deaf or hard of hearing and who presents proof of an active state screening or its equivalent and presents proof of successful completion of an examination as approved by the Department in consultation with the Board.

18. "Screened interpreter" means any person who presents proof of an active state screening or its equivalent and presents proof of successful completion of an examination as approved by the Department in consultation with the Board.

19. “Transliterating” means conveying spoken English into manually coded English, or conveying manually coded English into spoken English (sign-to-voice), or conveying English on the lips so that it is accessible to speech reading (oral transliterating, or any auditory communication as a visual form in English such as cued speech).

21.3 Professional Licensure Requirements

21.3.1 Qualifications of Applicants for Licensure Certified

A. License Required.

1. No person shall practice or hold him or herself out as being able to practice interpreting, educational interpreting, or intermediary interpreting as defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-71-3 and this Part unless he or she holds a license.

2. No person shall hold himself or herself out as being able to practice under the Act and this Part unless he or she is licensed pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-71-9(b).

B. Licensure. To be eligible for licensure by the Department as a certified interpreter or certified deaf interpreter, the applicant shall meet the qualifications of R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-71-8.

C. To be eligible for licensure by the Department as an educational interpreter for the deaf, the applicant shall meet all of the requirements set forth in R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-71-8.

D. Screened

1. To be eligible for licensure by the Department as a screened interpreter or screened deaf interpreter, the applicant shall:

a. Be of good moral character;

b. Meet the screened requirements as defined in this Part;

c. Successfully complete a recognized state screening or state equivalent within the United States. For the purposes of this Part, a state screening or a state equivalent shall be current and valid; and

d. Submit written verification of successful completion of the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Performance Evaluation (written) or present evidence of completion of coursework in American Sign Language, Deaf Culture, and the Code of Ethics. Such coursework may be completed as part of an interpreter training program, or through individual workshops sponsored by a recognized organization or agency or other training recognized by the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

21.3.2 Persons and Practices Exempted

A. Persons and practices exempted are in accordance with the provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-71-15.

B. Emergencies

1. In the event of an emergency, the consumer may elect to use the services of a non-licensed interpreter.

21.3.3 Licensure

A. Licensure shall be granted in accordance with the provisions in R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-71-9.

B. Categories of Licensure

1. Three types of licensure may be issued to interpreters.

a. A certified license shall be granted to interpreters who meet the requirements of § 21.3.1(B) of this Part. The two (2) types of certified licenses are:

(1) Certified interpreter; and

(2) Certified deaf interpreter.

b. A screened license of limited duration determined by the Board shall be granted to interpreters who:

(1) Have met the educational requirements in § 21.3.1(C) of this Part; and

(2) Who have successfully completed a recognized state screening or state equivalent, as determined by the Department in consultation with the Board.

(3) The two (2) types of screened licenses are:

(AA) Screened interpreter; and

(BB) Screened deaf interpreter.

c. An educational interpreter license may be granted to an interpreter who meets the requirements of R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-71-8.

21.3.4 Application and Fees

A. Application for licensure by the Board as an interpreter shall be made on forms provided by the Department. These forms shall be completed and submitted to the Department.

1. Such application shall be accompanied by the following:

a. Documentation of certified membership from the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID); or a recognized state screening or state equivalent and documentation of successful completion of the requirements set forth in § 21.3.1 of this Part; and

b. A non-refundable fee as set forth in the Fee Structure for Licensing, Laboratory and Administrative Services Provided by the Department of Health (Part 10-05-2 of this Title). In no case shall said fee be returned.

21.3.5 Expiration and Renewal of License

A. Every person licensed under the provisions of the Act and this Part who desires to continue licensure as an interpreter shall present evidence satisfactory to the Board that the interpreter has completed a prescribed course of continuing education in accordance with the requirements of § 21.3.7 of this Part.

B. The license of every person licensed under the provisions of the Act and this Part shall expire on the first day of July of the next year following the date of his/her license.

C. Every licensed interpreter who desires to renew his/her license shall file a renewal application with the Department for each license. Such application shall include payment of the fee as set forth in the Fee Structure for Licensing, Laboratory and Administrative Services Provided by the Department of Health (Part 10-05-2 of this Title) before the first day of July in each year. Upon receipt of such application and payment of said fee, the accuracy of the application shall be verified and the Department shall grant a renewal license effective July 1st and expiring twelve (12) months thereafter.

21.3.6 Endorsement

A. Applicants who hold a valid license, certificate, or equivalent issued within another state, provided that the requirements under which that license, certificate, or equivalent was issued meet or exceed the standards required by the Act, and who otherwise meet the requirements of this Part, may be issued a license under the provisions of the Act and this Part.

B. An individual whose license, certification, permit, or equivalent form of permission issued within another state has been revoked, suspended or currently placed on probation shall not be eligible for consideration for licensure unless they have first disclosed to the Department such disciplinary actions.

21.3.7 Continuing Education Requirements

A. All certified licensed interpreters, licensed screened interpreters and educational interpreters shall be required to complete five (5) hours of continuing education each year.

1. Courses deemed acceptable for continuing education shall be those approved by the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

B. It shall be the sole responsibility of the individual licensee to obtain documentation from the approved sponsoring or co-sponsoring organization, agency, or institution of his/her participation in a continuing education program and/or activity that shall include no less than the date, time, subject matter, name of lecturer or teacher, the number of hours of credit earned, and such other pertinent data.

1. Such documentation shall be safeguarded by the licensee for review by the Board as may be requested.

2. Such documents shall furthermore be retained by each licensee for no less than three (3) years and shall be subject to random audit by the Board.

C. Licensees initially licensed after the July 1st renewal date shall be exempt from the continuing education requirements stated in this Part until the date of the next renewal cycle (i.e., June 30th of the next year).

D. A license renewal may be denied to any applicant who fails to provide satisfactory evidence of continuing education relevant to interpreting as required in this Part.

E. An extension of time to complete the continuing education requirements may be granted to a licensee solely at the discretion of the Department, in consultation with the Board, for reasons of hardship or other extenuating circumstances.

21.4 Grounds for Suspension, Practices & Procedures, and Privileged Communications

21.4.1 Grounds for Suspension or Revocation of Licenses

A. All complaints concerning a licensee's professional practice shall be received by the Department in writing or by videotape. Each complaint received shall be logged, recording at a minimum the following information:

1. Licensee's name;

2. Name of the complaining party;

3. Date of incident; and

4. Statement of complaint.

B. The Board may recommend to the Director the issuance, renewal, or revocation of a license, or suspension, placement on probation, censure or reprimand of a licensee, or such other disciplinary action as the Board may deem appropriate, for conduct as set forth in R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-71-13 and in addition, for unprofessional conduct.

1. Unprofessional conduct is defined as including, but not limited to:

a. The use of any false or fraudulent statement in any document connected with the practice of interpreting or transliterating for the deaf ;

b. The willful violation of a privileged communication;

c. The willful violation of confidentiality;

d. Knowingly performing any act which in any way aids or assists an unlicensed person to practice interpreting or transliterating for the deaf in violation of the Act;

e. The practice of interpreting or transliterating for the deaf under a false or assumed name;

f. The advertising for the practice of interpreting or transliterating for the deaf/Deaf in a deceptive or unethical manner;

g. Habitual intoxication or addiction to the use of drugs or performing the duties and functions of an interpreter for the deaf while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs;

h. Presenting an unprofessional or otherwise distracting appearance that interferes with the provision of services to the client;

i. Repeated violations of any of the rules or regulations of the Department or the violation of any section of the Act;

j. Gross incompetence in the practice of his/her profession; or

k. Repeated acts of gross misconduct in the practice of his/her profession.

21.4.2 Practices and Procedures

All hearings and reviews required under the provisions of the Act, shall be held in accordance with the provisions of the rules and regulations pertaining to Practices and Procedures Before the Rhode Island Department of Health (Part 10-05-4 of this Title) and Access to Public Records (Part 10-05-1 of this Title).

21.4.3 Privileged Communications

Privileged communications of licensed interpreters are pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-71-18.

Title 216 Rhode Island Department of Health
Chapter 40 Professional Licensing and Facility Regulation
Subchapter 05 Professional Licensing
Part 21 Interpreters for the Deaf (216-RICR-40-05-21)
Type of Filing Amendment
Regulation Status Active
Effective 08/05/2018

Regulation Authority :

R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-71-5(d)

Purpose and Reason :

In accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, R.I. Gen. Laws Section 42-35-3(a)(1), the following is a concise statement regarding this rulemaking for Interpreters for the Deaf (216-RICR-40-05-21). This amendment to the regulations creates an Authority section, revises definitions to align with statute and Secretary of State definitional requirements, removes statutory reiteration, removes notarization/photograph application requirements, clarifies the licensing and renewal process, eliminates temporary licenses, and removes superfluous language. During public comment, it was suggested that language regarding privileged communications proposed to be struck from § 21.3.3 should remain in the regulations. RIDOH has determined that this suggested revision will not be implemented because the referenced section was found to be completely reiterative of statute, and therefore should remain struck from the regulations in order to prevent any misalignment with future revisions to statute. During public comment, it was suggested that § 21.4.1(B)(1) be revised to remove habitual intoxication or addiction to the use of drugs, and presenting an unprofessional or otherwise distracting appearance as grounds for unprofessional conduct. RIDOH has determined that this suggested revision will not be implemented, as RIDOH believes that the language proposed to be struck is required to maintain the integrity of public health and RIDOH's ability to protect it. In the development of this rule, consideration was given to: 1) alternative approaches; 2) overlap or duplication with other statutory and regulatory provisions; and 3) significant economic impact on small business. No alternative approach, duplication, or overlap was identified based on available information. RIDOH has determined that the benefits of this rule justify its costs.

There are no electronic rulemaking documents for rules filed prior to August 14, 2018. For rulemaking documents for rules filed prior to this date, please contact the appropriate agency's Rules Coordinator.