MRID believes in quality communication access for all persons who are d/Deaf and hard of hearing. Specifically, in regards to children in the K-12 education setting, we support the stance of the National Association of Interpreters in Education (NAIE) as reflected in their professional guidelines. Children who are d/Deaf and hard of hearing that utilize interpreting services are typically unable to communicate the complexities of their language access needs, so it is up to all of the stakeholders to ensure that effective and quality services are provided. When the language needs of children who are d/Deaf and hard of hearing are met, they have an equal opportunity to reach their potential. We encourage you to read below to learn more about the Montana Rule that establishes qualification standards for educational interpreters working in the K-12 setting in Montana, information from Boys Town Research Hospital on the EIPA, and the professional guidelines and resources from NAIE. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding this information, please don’t hesitate to send an email to:
Montana Ruling 10.55.718
10.55.718 ASSIGNMENT OF PERSONS PROVIDING SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETING FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE DEAF OR HARD OF HEARING
(1) Effective July 1, 2011, and not withstanding (3), no licensed or classified employee of any school district, cooperative, or contracted service provider shall be regularly assigned to provide educational sign language interpreting for a student(s) unless the employee has demonstrated skills and knowledge, at a 3.5 level or higher, on the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) and passed the written portion of the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment.
(2) Substitute employees of any school district, cooperative, or contracted service provider temporarily assigned to provide educational sign language interpreting for a student(s) for a period longer than 35 consecutive teaching days shall meet the standard in (1).
(3) An employee who has not met the qualifications in (1), but who has demonstrated a competency level of 2.5 or higher on the EIPA or a score commensurate with a competency level of 2.5 or higher on the EIPA Pre-Hire Assessment, may be assigned to provide educational sign language interpreting services. Such individuals shall have three years, from date of initial assignment, or the effective date of this rule, to demonstrate competency as described in (1).
(4) The employing entity (school district, cooperative, or contracting service provider) is responsible for providing appropriate assignment of personnel (directly) and/or use of appropriate technologies.
(5) Employees who have met the requirements in (1) and who seek to remain eligible to work as educational sign language interpreters are responsible for documenting a completion of 12 clock hours of professional development and/or Office of Public Instruction renewal units per calendar year related to the improvement of educational interpreting, performance, and knowledge skills. Such individuals will provide documentation of completion to their employing school district, cooperative, or contracting agency.
(6) For purposes of (5), approved providers of continuing educational opportunities shall include any entity approved by the Montana Office of Public Instruction or the Montana Board of Public Education.
Written Test Dates:
Performance Test Date:
EIPA is the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment developed by Boys Town National Research Hospital. The EIPA is a tool developed to assess the proficiency of educational interpreters. Testing registration is required. MT OPI will compensate testing fees for interpreters working in K-12 settings, (including substitutes), who have not satisfied the 3.5 score.
The National Association of Interpreters in Education, NAIE, is an organization of interpreters who provide services to support the communication needs of students in educational settings. The NAIE promotes the pursuit of professional excellence regarding interpreting services in these settings. The purpose of the NAIE will be to identify and support best practices within the field, advocate for its members, provide continuing education, networking, resources and other professional opportunities.