K-12 and Post Secondary Education

K-12 and Post-Secondary Educational interpreters facilitate communication between Deaf students and teachers, academic service providers and peers within the educational environment. In the classroom, the instructional content varies significantly, and the skills and knowledge necessary to qualify an interpreter vary accordingly.

In the primary grades, the interpreter needs a broad basic knowledge of the subject areas such as mathematics, social studies, and language arts. At the secondary level, the interpreter needs sufficient knowledge and understanding of the content areas to be able to interpret technical concepts and terminology accurately and meaningfully.

Eaton Policy for Educational Interpreters

Eaton adheres to the certification requirements outlined in the California State Department of Education Code and does not send interpreters to educational facilities if the interpreter does not hold the appropriate certification. Additionally, majority of the contracted interpreters who work for Eaton have been fingerprinted through the California Department of Justice automated Live Scan service for criminal history background checks. All interpreters are required to adhere to the appropriate code of professional conduct governing ethical behavior within the profession.

Tips for Working with Educational Interpreters

  • When addressing a student, speak directly to them and avoid such phrases as “Tell her” and “Ask him.”
  • It works best to speak in your normal tone and pace. The interpreter will tell you if you need to pause or slow down.
  • When reading extensively from written materials or using a power point presentation, consider supplying a copy to the Deaf student. When this is not possible, be aware of the pace of your speech.
  • When distributing agendas, outlines, or other instructional materials to be referenced during a presentation, offer one to the interpreter as well.
  • Obtain captioned versions of videotapes to be shown.
  • Maintain enough light for the interpreter to be seen during presentations.
  • Whenever possible, make presentation materials available to the interpreter before the event, so that he/she may become familiar with the subject matter and terminology.
  • Please be aware that the interpreter must interpret everything said. Avoid discussing subjects with the interpreter you do not wish the Deaf student to know.
  • When out of the presence of the Deaf student, avoid giving messages to the interpreter for later relay to the Deaf student.
  • Feel free to correct, agree with, bring back to subject, or give any other feedback to the Deaf student, as you would a hearing client in the same situation.
  • The interpreter will not share personal opinions regarding the Deaf student.
See more tips for working with interpreters

What Does the Law Require?

The California State Department of Education Code (Section 3051.16) states that an educational interpreter working in the K – 12 setting shall be certified by the national RID and have achieved a score of 4.0 or above on the Educational Interpreter Performance Evaluation (EIPA) (by July 1, 2009), the ESSE-I, or the NAD/ACCI assessment or have met comparable requirements.

As a recipient of federal financial assistance, a post-secondary institution has an obligation under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to be accessible to students and other individuals with disabilities. The U.S. Department of Education has determined that these institutions must provide necessary auxiliary aids, including interpreters for deaf or hard of hearing persons. This obligation applies to all of the activities of the college, including extracurricular activities, off-site internships, and activities open to the public, or to part-time, non-credit or non-matriculated students, and to employees.

View K-12 Educational Interpreting Article