Welcome to the Michigan Online Interpreter System
SUGGESTED GUIDELINES FOR USING THIS INTERPRETER DIRECTORY
This directory lists Interpreter Referral Agencies, Interpreter Education & Sign
Language Programs, and qualified interpreters for the State of Michigan. All Michigan
Quality Assurance (QA), National Association of the Deaf (NAD), National
Interpreter Certificate (NIC), and Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID)
interpreters have been listed. Additionally, some of them have given us
permission to share their contact information.
When an agency, court, public service, public accommodation, deaf or hard of hearing
person determines the need for an interpreter, it is strongly suggested that
they contact the closest interpreter referral agency. The agency will identify and send the most
qualified interpreter for the assignment provided they have ample time to
schedule the interpreter. Assignments of two hours or longer may require more than one interpreter.
Interpreters may be found by name, region, or credential. Those interpreters who names are
in multiple regions have indicated that they are willing to travel to those
specific areas Nationally certified interpreters are strongly
recommended for legal, mental health
and long term counseling situations.
Qualified and certified interpreters have been issued cards identifying them and their
current skill level. It is good practice to ask to see their card. All card
carrying interpreters are bound by the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct
which stresses the confidentiality of interpreted information.
If you are unable to secure a qualified interpreter or have further questions, please
contact the Division on Deaf and Hard of Hearing at 877-499-6232 V/TTY toll
free, 517-335-6004 V/TTY, or 517-335-7773 FAX.
The Commission on Disability Concern’s Division on Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DODHH) has
listed the Interpreter Directory as a resource for you.
Disclaimer: The Interpreter Directory is published as required by P.A. 204 of 1982 to assist
with effective communication. The DODHH cannot, however, guarantee the effectiveness of everyone listed in the directory.
Please call DODHH for additional information if you are unable to locate the name of a specific interpreter and have
searched using variant spellings and only the first or last name.
Recommendation: Please contact the DODHH for consultation and
technical assistance when providing services to persons with a hearing loss.
NATIONAL REGISTRY OF INTERPRETERS FOR THE DEAF (RID) CERTIFICATIONS
MCSC Master Comprehensive Skills Certificate:
Awarded to an interpreter/transliterator who has held a CSC for at
four years and has met the standards of a CSC at a higher competency rate.
SC:L Specialist Certificate-Legal: Awarded to an
/transliterator who possesses a CSC plus specialized skills to
qualify at standards established for interpreting/transliterating in a variety
of legal settings with comprehension of English and signed legal terminology.
CSC Comprehensive Skills Certificate: Ability to
interpret/transliterate using either English or American Sign Language in the
situation, selecting the preferred communication mode of the deaf or hard of
CDI Certified Deaf Interpreter: Ability to interpret between American
Language and English-based sign language or transliterate between spoken
English and a signed code for English. Holders of this certification
interpreters who are deaf or hard of hearing.
CI Certificate of Interpretation: Ability to interpret between
American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken English in both sign-to-voice and
CT Certificate of Transliteration: Ability to transliterate between
English-based sign language and spoken English in both sign-to-voice and
IC Interpretation Certificate:
Ability to interpret between American Sign Language and spoken English.
TC Transliteration Certificate: Ability to transliterate between
spoken English and a signed code for English.
OIC Oral Interpreting Certificate: Ability to transliterate a spoken
message from a person who hears to a person who is deaf or hard of hearing and
the ability to understand and repeat the message and intent of the speech and
mouth movements of the person who is deaf or hard of hearing.
OIC:C Oral Interpreting Certificate-Comprehensive: Ability to paraphrase/transliterate a spoken
message with or without voice and with natural lip movement for the deaf or
hard of hearing person. Also has the ability to voice the message of the deaf or hard of hearing person for the
benefit of the third person.
OTC Oral Transliteration Certificate: Ability to transliterate a spoken message
from a person who hears to a person who is deaf or hard-of-hearing through silent oral techniques
and natural gestures. Also has demonstrated the ability to understand and repeat the message and
intent of the speech and mouth movements of the person who is deaf or hard-of-hearing.
NATIONAL INTERPRETER CERTIFICATE
BY THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF & THE NATIONAL REGISTRY OF INTERPRETERS FOR THE DEAF
NIC Individuals who achieve the NIC level have passed the NIC Knowledge
written exam as well as scored within the standard range of a professional
interpreter on the Interview portion and Performance portions of the test.
NIC Advanced Individuals who achieved the NIC Advanced level
have passed the NIC Knowledge written exam, scored within the standard range of
a professional interpreter on the Interview portion, and scored within the high
range on the Performance portion of the test. [Click Here].
NIC Masters Individuals who achieved the NIC Master level have passed the NIC Knowledge
written exam and scored within the high range of a professional interpreter on both the Interview portion and
Performance portion of the test. [Click Here].
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF (NAD) CERTIFICATIONS
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD), is an education and advocacy organization
committed to promotion, protection and preservation of the rights and quality
of life of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United
States. The NAD offers an Interpreter Assessment and awards one of 5
levels. Two of the levels do not certify interpreters; the other three levels are awarded certification by NAD.
NAD certifications are listed below.
Level V(Master): The individual who attains this level possesses superior voice-to-sign skills and
excellent sign-to-voice skills, and demonstrates the interpreting skill
necessary for just about all situations.
The individual who attains this level possesses excellent voice-to-sign
skills and above average sign-to-voice skills, and demonstrates the
interpreting skill necessary for most situations.
The individual who attains this level possesses above average voice-to-sign
skills, and good sign-to-voice skills, and demonstrates the interpreting skill
necessary for some situations.
For further information, contact:
NAD Interpreter Assessment and Certification Program
814 Thayer Ave
Spring, MD 20910
(301) 587-1789 TTY
(301) 587-1788 Voice
(301) 587-1791 FAX
STATE QUALITY ASSURANCE (QA) LEVEL DESCRIPTIONS
QA LEVEL III Intermediate Skill Level: demonstrated ability to
interpret/transliterate communication between hearing and deaf or hard of
hearing persons with a minimum of 88% accuracy.
Recommended for situations where there may not
be an opportunity for the interpreter to stop communication for clarification.
education/tutorial situations, informal meetings and daily living skills,
training, public meetings, interviews.
QA LEVELII Limited Skill Level: demonstrated ability to
interpret/transliterate communication between hearing and deaf or hard of
hearing persons with a minimum of 74% accuracy.
Recommended for one-to-one or small group situations where the interpreter may or may not
have the opportunity to stop communication for clarification.
Examples: Education/tutorial situations, informal meetings and daily living skills training.
QA LEVEL I Restricted Skill Level: demonstrated ability to
interpret/transliterate communication between hearing and deaf or hard of
hearing persons with a minimum of 60% accuracy.
Recommended mainly for one-to-one situations where the interpreter has the opportunity to
stop communication for clarification.
Examples: Social/recreational situations, non-technical and informal meetings.
EDUCATIONAL INTERPRETER PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT TESTED
American Sign Language (ASL):
“The deaf community in America has developed its own visual language that
has its origins in the early 1800’s. Most deaf adults use some version of ASL
and support of ASL is a strong cultural characteristic of the deaf community
in the US. It is important to note that most deaf adults are bilingual in ASL
and English to varying degrees”
Manually-Coded English (MCE):
“In the 1970’s, educational professionals developed a version of signing that
tried to replicate English exactly. They borrowed signs from ASL, invented new
signs, and invented signs for elements of English that do not occur in ASL.
There are various versions of English signing, or MCE, used in public schools.
The most common include Signing Exact English and Signed English.
For more information, see Marschark, M. (1997). Raising and educating a deaf child.
New York: Oxford University Press”
Pidgin Sign English (PSE):
“Some deaf adults will sign using more English grammar…In reality, PSE is probably
a creolized language in that it is rich and complex, and is often used in complicated
communication environments, such as college classrooms”
STATE OF MICHIGAN BOARD FOR THE EVALUATION OF INTERPRETERS (BEI) LEVEL DESCRIPTIONS
MI BEI I
Holders of this certificate meet minimum competency standards to interpret in educational
and social service settings, excluding counseling. This performance test will emphasize terms
and scenarios found not only in general lecture and teaching situations, but other educational
contexts as well. An interpreter passing this portion of the test has shown abilities to
simultaneously interpret/transliterate 110 words per minute.*
MI BEI II
Holders of this certificate meet minimum competency standards to interpret in medical,
social service, K-12 and post-secondary, and routine mental health. The BEI II certificate
sets a clear standard for an interpreter ready to work in the majority of settings and
performing a wide range of tasks. An interpreter passing this portion of the test has shown
abilities to simultaneously interpret/transliterate 120 words per minute.*
MI BEI III
Holders of this certificate meet minimum competency standards to interpret in high-stakes settings,
such as medical, mental health, legal, K - 12 and post-secondary settings. This test will serve to
identify those interpreters qualified to work in the most critical areas. An interpreter passing
this portion of the test has shown abilities to simultaneously interpret/transliterate 130 words per minute.*
*Please refer to the Deaf Persons' Interpreters Act PA 204 of 1982, amended in 2007 rules
for minimum standards of practice. Portions of these statements were modified from the State of Texas Department
of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) website.
SUGGESTED GUIDELINES FOR COORDINATING INTERPRETER SERVICES
1. Find out the date, type and duration of event or situation.
2. Ask the Deaf or hard of hearing presenter(s) or attendee for interpreter preferences, needs, etc.
3. Determine the number of interpreters needed.
4. Decide whether you will contract with an
interpreter referral agency or with individual interpreters. Discuss costs,
billing procedures and any other special arrangements.
5. Identify, contract and confirm the interpreters for the assignment.
6. Designate or ask the agency to designate the "Lead" interpreter when there are more than one.
7. One to two weeks prior to the event,
reconfirm the interpreters and forward the name and phone number of the
"On-site" contact person, maps, itinerary or event agenda.
8. The day of the event, the
"On-site" contact person can: greet the interpreters, explain the
physical settings, introduce the deaf presenter or attendee if necessary,
locate needed chairs, glasses of water, adjust microphones and/or assistive
devices and lighting and complete adjustments prior to the beginning of the
9. If interpreters are to work through meal
times, arrangements should be made to have one interpreter eat the first half
of the allotted meal time and vice versa for the other interpreter.
10. The "On-site" contact person should follow up with the deaf presenter or
attendee to be sure the communication is effective.
11. The "On-site" contact person should check with the Lead Interpreter to
see that everything is progressing well.
12. Evaluate the interpreters services and provide appropriate
feedback to the referral agency or interpreter.
LEGAL BASE AND DEFINITIONS
The legal basis for providing
interpreters is found in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Michigan Handicapper Civil
Rights Act of 1976, and the Deaf Persons' Interpreter Act of 1982, as amended
which are detailed below.
1. Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 (29
U.S.C. § 794(a))-No otherwise qualified individual with handicaps in
the United States...shall, solely by reason of...handicap, be excluded from the
participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination
under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
2. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Title II (42 U.S.C. § 12132 et al) -Subject
to the provisions of this title, no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be
denied the benefits of the services, programs or activities of a public entity,
or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity.
3. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Title III (42 U.S.C. § 12182 et al)-General
Rule.-No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability
in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges,
advantages or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person
who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation.
4. Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Act,
Section 102 (Public Act 220 of 1976; MCL
37.1102) -The opportunity to obtain employment, housing, and other real estate and full and
equal utilization of public accommodations, public services, and educational
facilities without discrimination because of a handicap is guaranteed by this
act and is a civil right.
5. Deaf Persons' Interpreters Act, Section 3 (Public Act 204 of
1982; MCL 393.503)-
In any action before a court or a grand jury where a deaf person is a
participant in the action, either as a plaintiff, defendant, or witness, the
court shall appoint a certified interpreter or in its discretion, appoint a
qualified interpreter, to interpret the proceedings to the deaf person, to
interpret the deaf person's testimony or statements, and to assist in
preparation of the action with the deaf person's counsel.
6. Deaf Persons' Interpreters Act, Section 5 (Public Act 204 of
1982; MCL 393.505)- If a deaf person is arrested and taken
into custody for any alleged violation of a criminal law of this state, the
arresting officer and the officer's supervisor shall procure a certified
interpreter or a qualified interpreter in order to properly interrogate the
deaf person and to interpret the deaf person's statements.
7. Deaf Person’s Interpreters Act, Section 8(a) & Section
8(b) (Public Act 204 of 1982; MCL 393.508(a), 393.508(b))- The rules
promulgated under this section shall be coordinated with the Department of
Education and the Administrative Rule for Special Education, R 340.1793(a) of
the Michigan Administrative Code. A
person who knows that he or she does not meet the definition of qualified interpreter
under this act and misrepresents himself or herself as a qualified interpreter
is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days
or a fine of not less than $500.00 or more than $1,000.00, or both. An appointing authority that willfully
violates section 3(a) is subject to a civil fine of not less than $1,000.00 and
not more than $10,000.00. Subsection
three becomes effective on the effective date of the rules promulgated under this
pursuant to section 8(a).
Auxiliary aids and services (Sec 504-ADA)/ Adaptive devices or aids (PA
Auxiliary aids and services/adaptive
devices or aids include:
interpreters or other effective methods of making aurally delivered materials
available to individuals with hearing impairments.
readers, taped texts, or other effective methods of making visually delivered
materials available to individuals with visual impairments.
or modification of equipment or devices.
similar services and actions.
State and local governments and
public accommodations are required to ensure that communications with customers
or clients who are deaf or hard of hearing are effective. Effective
communication can be achieved by providing auxiliary aids and services/adaptive
devices or aids at the request of the deaf or hard of hearing person. Effective communication with people with
disabilities is a continuing obligation.
A qualified interpreter may be
necessary in situations regarding health, legal or financial matters. Whether or not an interpreter is needed
- a deaf or hard of hearing person's communication
- context of the communication
- number of people involved in the situation
- importance of the communication
- whether the information is complex or lengthy