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Notice: Grants and cooperative agreements; availability, etc.: Special education and rehabilitative services— Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind Program; priorities and definitions

Notice: Grants and cooperative agreements; availability, etc.: Special education and rehabilitative services— Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind Program; priorities and definitions

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Published by Justia.com
Notice: Grants and cooperative agreements; availability, etc.:
Special education and rehabilitative services—
Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind Program; priorities and definitions, 44834-44841 [05-15252] Department of Education
Notice: Grants and cooperative agreements; availability, etc.:
Special education and rehabilitative services—
Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind Program; priorities and definitions, 44834-44841 [05-15252] Department of Education

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Published by: Justia.com on May 02, 2008
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05/09/2014

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Wednesday,
August 3, 2005
Part III
Department of
Education

Training of Interpreters for Individuals
Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and
Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind\u2014
Priorities and Definitions and Notice of
Availability; Notices

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44834
Federal Register/Vol. 70, No. 148/Wednesday, August 3, 2005/Notices
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Training of Interpreters for Individuals
Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and
Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind

AGENCY:Office of Special Education and
Rehabilitative Services, Department of
Education.
ACTION:Notice of final priorities and
definitions.
SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for

Special Education and Rehabilitative
Services announces three priorities and
definitions under the Training of
Interpreters for Individuals Who Are
Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals
Who Are Deaf-Blind program. The
Assistant Secretary may use these
priorities and definitions for
competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2005
and later years. We take this action to
focus on training and education as an
identified area of national and regional
need. We intend for the priorities to
improve the quality of interpreters in
the field by providing quality
educational opportunities with
consumer involvement throughout the
process and with a specific focus on
interpreters working with consumers of
vocational rehabilitation (VR) services.

EFFECTIVE DATE: These priorities and
definitions are effective September 2,
2005.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Annette Reichman, U.S. Department of
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW.,
room 5032, Potomac Center Plaza,
Washington, DC 20202\u20132800.
Telephone: (202) 245\u20137489 or via
Internet:Annette.Reichman@ed.gov.

If you use a telecommunications
device for the deaf (TDD), you may call
(202) 205\u20138352.

Individuals with disabilities may
obtain this document in an alternative
format (e.g., Braille, large print,
audiotape, or computer diskette) on
request to the contact person listed
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

CONTACT.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:Section

302(f) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,
as amended (Act), and the regulations
for this program in 34 CFR 396.1 state
that the Training of Interpreters for
Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of
Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-
Blind program is designed to establish
interpreter training programs or to assist
ongoing training programs to train a
sufficient number of qualified
interpreters in order to meet the
communications needs of individuals
who are deaf or hard of hearing and
individuals who are deaf-blind. The

Training of Interpreters for Individuals
Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and
Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind
program provides financial assistance to
pay part of the costs to\u2014

(1) Train manual, tactile, oral, and
cued speech interpreters;
(2) Ensure the maintenance of the
skills of interpreters; and

(3) Provide opportunities for
interpreters to raise their level of
competence.

Federal statutes, such as the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended,
the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act, and the Americans with
Disabilities Act established the legal
requirements for communication and
language access. These requirements led
to an ever-increasing demand for
qualified interpreters, outstripped the
available pool of qualified interpreters,
and created a serious ongoing national
shortage. In addition, many States have
passed, or are now proposing, licensure
laws for interpreters, requiring
interpreters working in these States to
meet specific qualifications. In the last
several years the shortage of qualified
interpreters has been exacerbated by the
establishment of \u2018\u2018Video Relay Services\u2019\u2019
call centers throughout the country.
These centers actively recruit
interpreters from surrounding
communities and postsecondary
institutions to work as video relay
interpreters in these call centers.

Simultaneously, deaf consumers of
interpreting services are demanding
higher quality interpreting services that
meet their individual needs. Consumers
and consumer organizations have
expressed interest in being substantively
involved in the identification,
development, and delivery of the
educational opportunities provided
through these priorities.

In order to train qualified interpreters
to better meet the demand from
consumers and consumer organizations,
interpreter educators must be sufficient
in number and knowledgeable of
current best practices. There are,
however, very few programs that
prepare interpreter educators to teach
the interpreting process and the skill of
interpreting. Consequently, many
educators teaching at approximately 137
interpreter training programs
throughout the country have had little
or no opportunity to study how to teach
interpretation.

To address these issues and to
contribute toward the education and
training of a sufficient number of
qualified interpreters to meet the
communications needs of individuals
who are deaf or hard of hearing and
individuals who are deaf-blind, the

Assistant Secretary proposed to
establish priorities for a National
Interpreter Education Center and a
coordinated Regional Interpreter
Education Center or Centers working
with and through Local Partner
Networks.

We published a notice of proposed
priorities and definitions for this
program in the Federal Register on
November 3, 2004 (69 FR 64240). That
notice included a discussion of
significant issues and analysis used in
the development of the priorities and
definitions.

Except for minor editorial and
technical revisions, there are four
differences between the notice of
proposed priorities and definitions and
this final notice. They are:

1. We have established a new priority
within the existing priority from 34 CFR
396.33 to support applications from
postsecondary institutions that offer and
have awarded at least a bachelor\u2019s
degree in interpreter education.

2. The National Interpreter Education
Center and the Regional Interpreter
Education Centers will be required to
reserve 10 percent of their annual
budgets to cover the costs of specific
collaborative efforts between the
centers.

3. A special focus on training
opportunities for trilingual deaf and
hearing interpreters, particularly those
who are Spanish and English speaking
and fluent in both American Sign
Language and Mexican Sign Language
or other sign languages used by
Spanish-speaking communities has been
added to Priority 2.

4. In deciding whether to continue the
projects for the fourth and fifth years, a
review of the National Interpreter
Education Center and the Regional
Interpreter Education Center or Centers
will be conducted by a team consisting
of experts selected by the Secretary
during the first half of the projects\u2019 third
year, instead of the last half of the
projects\u2019 second year as originally
proposed.

Analysis of Comments and Changes

In response to our invitation in the
notice of proposed priorities and
definitions, 60 parties submitted
comments. An analysis of the comments
and of any changes in the priorities and
definitions since publication of the
notice of proposed priorities and
definitions follows.

Generally, we do not address
technical and other minor changes\u2014and
suggested changes that we are not
authorized to make under the applicable
statutory authority.

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44835
Federal Register/Vol. 70, No. 148/Wednesday, August 3, 2005/Notices
Comments: Three commenters stated

that the priorities should promote the
accreditation process for interpreter
training programs as a mechanism to
document the quality of their outcomes.
The commenters suggested that the
National Interpreter Education Center
partner with the accreditation body
under the Conference of Interpreter
Trainers as a coordinated effort to
strengthen the field of interpreter
education.

Discussion: Section 302(f) of the Act

and the regulations for this program in
34 CFR 396.1 state that the purpose of
grants awarded under this program is to
train a sufficient number of qualified
interpreters to meet the communications
needs of individuals who are deaf or
hard of hearing and individuals who are
deaf-blind. To accomplish this, grants
may be awarded to public and private
nonprofit agencies and organizations to
pay part of the costs for the
establishment of interpreter training
programs or to assist those agencies or
organizations to conduct training at
existing interpreter training programs.
The statute and regulations, however,
do not provide authority for the program
to become directly involved with
accreditation of interpreter training
programs. The National Interpreter
Education Center and the Regional
Interpreter Education Centers
nonetheless could choose to use the
rigors of the accreditation process as one
mechanism to document the quality of
their educational outcomes.

Change:None.
Comments: Seven commenters

suggested that we limit eligibility for the
National Interpreter Education Center
grant to postsecondary institutions that
offer bachelor\u2019s degrees or master\u2019s
degrees in interpreter training. These
commenters also suggested that we
include interpreter education programs
that offer, or that are able to demonstrate
that they are well on their way to
establishing, a bachelor\u2019s degree in
interpreter education as eligible
applicants for the Regional Interpreter
Education Centers grants. Another
commenter suggested that one of the
functions of the National Interpreter
Education Center should be to provide
guidance to interpreters who are
transitioning from associate\u2019s degree
level training programs to bachelor\u2019s
degree level training programs, as part
of demonstrating effective practices in
interpreter education.

Discussion: The Registry of

Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID), a
national and professional organization
that certifies interpreters, has recently
passed a mandate requiring candidates
for certification to have an academic

degree. Effective June 30, 2012,
candidates for RID certification must
have a minimum of a bachelor\u2019s degree,
and effective June 30, 2016, deaf
candidates for RID certification must
have a minimum of a bachelor\u2019s degree.
(Seehttp://www.rid.org/ntsnews.html
for the text of the motion that passed.)
National Association of the Deaf (NAD),
another national and professional
organization that certifies interpreters,
continues to work closely with RID in
blending the two certifying
organizations into one entity with the
same requirements just outlined.

While RID and NAD do not specify a
particular discipline for the bachelor\u2019s
degree, it is generally recognized that
the effectiveness of the message
rendered by an interpreter directly
correlates with the level of education of
the interpreter. We agree that it is
important that projects supported by the
Rehabilitation Services Administration
(RSA) reflect standards currently being
established by the field.

The regulations for this program in 34
CFR 396.33 state that the Secretary gives
priority to public or private nonprofit
agencies or organizations with existing
programs that have demonstrated their
capacity for providing interpreter
training services, including institutions
of higher education that meet these
criteria.

Within the priority as currently
written, the National Interpreter
Education Center can choose to provide
a special focus on developing guidance
for interpreters who are transitioning
from associate\u2019s degree level training
programs to bachelor\u2019s degree level
training programs, as part of
demonstrating effective practices in
interpreter education.

Change: We are establishing a new

priority within the existing priority from
34 CFR 396.33 to support applications
from postsecondary institutions that
offer and have awarded at least a
bachelor\u2019s degree in interpreter
education.

Comments: Three commenters stated

that we should require that the
proposed National Interpreter Education
Center and the Regional Interpreter
Education Center or Centers become
directly involved with the national
interpreter certification testing and
certification maintenance programs that
are provided jointly through NAD and
RID.

Discussion: While we recognize the

importance of national interpreter
certification organizations, including
NAD and RID, in clearly defining the
parameters of a qualified interpreter, the
Act requires that this program train a
sufficient number of interpreters

through grant awards to pay part of the
costs for the establishment of interpreter
training programs or to assist existing
interpreter training programs. The
statute and regulations do not provide
authorization for the program to become
directly involved with the certification
of interpreters.

Change:None.
Comments: Two commenters

suggested that 10 percent of the projects\u2019
annual budgets be reserved to support
the collaboration between the National
Interpreter Education Center and the
Regional Interpreter Education Center or
Centers including travel,
communications, materials
development, Web site development,
and other collaborative efforts.

Discussion: The National Interpreter

Education Center will be required, in
part, to coordinate the activities of the
Regional Interpreter Education Center or
Centers and to ensure the effectiveness
of the educational opportunities offered
by the Regional Interpreter Education
Center or Centers. We agree that the
budgets of the National Interpreter
Education Center and the Regional
Interpreter Education Center or Centers
should allow for these collaborative
efforts.

Change: We are revising the priorities

to require that 10 percent of the annual
budget for the National Interpreter
Education Center and the Regional
Interpreter Education Center or Centers
be reserved for specific collaborative
efforts.

Comments: One commenter suggested

that the Regional Interpreter Education
Centers specifically incorporate
opportunities for informal interaction
with the community at large, as a
required part of the training
opportunities.

Discussion: We concur with the

suggestion that opportunities for
informal interaction with the
community at large should be provided.
We believe that the requirement for the
use of language immersion experiences
in American Sign Language,
Conceptually Accurate Signed English,
oral communication, tactile
communication, and cued speech as
written would include this informal
interaction with deaf consumers in the
local communities.

Change:None.
Comments: Eight commenters

emphasized the importance of using
distance technologies, including
videoconferencing capabilities, to
deliver interpreter services from remote
locations and to enable interpreter
education programs to offer distance
education opportunities. One
commenter stated that the National

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