Chapter 160

2011 -- H 5799 SUBSTITUTE A

Enacted 06/30/11

 

A N A C T

RELATING TO BUSINESSES AND PROFESSIONS - INTERPRETERS FOR THE DEAF

          

     Introduced By: Representatives Handy, Hearn, Messier, and McNamara

     Date Introduced: March 03, 2011

 

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

 

     SECTION 1. Sections 5-71-3, 5-71-4, 5-71-8, 5-71-9, 5-71-13 and 5-71-15 of the

General Laws in Chapter 5-71 entitled "Interpreters for the Deaf" are hereby amended to read as

follows:

 

     5-71-3. Definitions. -- (1) "Board" means the state board of examiners for interpreters for

the deaf.

     (2) "Certified" means any person 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.

     (3) "Consumer" is an individual who is deaf, hard of hearing or other individual with

disabilities whose primary language is sign language (e.g., American Sign Language, manually

coded sign systems).

     (4) "Department" means the Rhode Island department of health.

     (5) "Director" means the director of the department of health.

     (6) "Educational Interpreter for the Deaf" means an individual who has specialized

licensure in the provision of sign language interpreting to students who are deaf, hard-of-hearing

or deaf-blind in grades preschool through twelve (12).

     (6)(7)"Emergency" means an urgent circumstance that demands immediate action in

order for a consumer to avoid imminent harm or loss. In the event of an emergency, the consumer

may elect to use the services of a nonlicensed interpreter or transliterator as set forth in

regulations promulgated by the department.

     (7)(8) "Interpreter for the deaf" means any person who engages in the practice of

interpreting for the deaf as defined in subsection (9) below.

     (8)(9) "Interpreter trainee" and "interpreter student" means any person, meeting the

minimum requirements established by the department in consultation with the board who is

currently enrolled in a nationally accredited interpreter training program and participating in the

practicum portion of their studies.

     (9)(10) "Interpreting for the deaf" means conveying spoken English into American Sign

Language (ASL) (voice-to-sign) or conveying American Sign Language into English (sign-to-

voice), or interpreting English to and/or from a visual gestural system. Such practice shall not

include transliterating for the deaf.

     (10)(11) "Screened interpreter or transliterator for the deaf" 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.

     (11)(12) "Transliterator for the deaf" means any person who engages in the practice of

transliterating for the deaf as defined in subsection (12)(13) below.

     (12)(13) "Transliterating for the deaf" means conveying spoken English into Manually

coded English (voice-to-sign), 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 (i.e. oral

transliterating). Such practice shall not include interpreting for the deaf.

 

     5-71-4. Board of examiners -- Creation -- Compensation -- Appointment, terms and

qualifications of members. -- (a) There shall exist within the state department of health a board

of examiners of interpreters for the deaf. The board shall consist of nine (9) five (5) persons who

shall be residents of the state of Rhode Island for at least two (2) years prior to their

appointments: two (2) three (3) nationally certified interpreters, one screened interpreter, one

interpreter eligible under section 5-71-12, three (3) and two (2) consumers, one special license

holder and one consumer of specialized communication modalities as defined in section 5-71-3.

The certified members shall hold certification from the National Registry of Interpreters for the

Deaf, and hold an active and valid license in this state, except for the first appointed members

who shall be persons engaged in rendering interpreting services for a period of at least five (5)

years, and are qualified for license under the provisions of this chapter. The screened member

shall hold valid screening from a recognized state-screening, and shall hold an active and valid

license in this state, except for the first appointed member who shall be a person who has been

engaged in rendering interpreting services for a period of at least five (5) years, and is qualified

for license under the provisions of this chapter. The special licensed member shall have expertise

in one of the communication modalities defined in section 5-71-3(7), or another specialized

communication modality.

     (b) All appointments made under this section after the effective date of this act [March

29, 2006] shall be made by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. In making

appointments to the board, the governor shall give consideration to recommendations made by the

commission on the deaf and hard-of-hearing established pursuant to section 23-1.8-1. All

members shall serve terms of three (3) years. Members shall serve until the expiration of the term

for which they have been appointed or until their successor is appointed. No person shall be

appointed to serve more than two (2) consecutive terms. When a vacancy upon the board occurs,

a replacement shall be appointed for the remainder of that term as prescribed in this section.

     (c) The board shall reorganize annually during the month of December and shall elect a

chairperson and vice chairperson for the subsequent calendar year. The board may elect from

among its members such other officers as it deems necessary.

     (d) Five (5) Three (3) members of the board shall constitute a quorum to do business. A

majority vote of those present shall be required for action.

     (e) Members of the board shall be removable by the governor pursuant to the provisions

of section 36-1-7 of the general laws and for cause only, and removal solely for partisan or

personal reasons unrelated to capacity or fitness for the office shall be unlawful.

 

     5-71-8. Qualifications of applicants for licenses. (a) To be eligible for licensure by

the board as an interpreter for the deaf or transliterator for the deaf, or educational interpreter for

the deaf, the applicant must submit written evidence on forms furnished by the department,

verified by oath, that the applicant meets all of the following requirements:

     (1) Is of good moral character;

     (2) Meets the certification or screened requirements as defined in regulations

promulgated by the department; and

     (3) Pays the department a license fee, that does not exceed fifty dollars ($50.00).

     (b) To be eligible for licensure by the board as an educational interpreter for the deaf, the

applicant must meet all of the requirements as described in subsection (a) and must further

present proof of successful completion of the educational interpreter performance assessment

(EIPA), written and performance tests, or a similar test as approved by the board, at a

performance level established by the board.

 

     5-71-9. Licensure and regulations of interpreters for the deaf. -- (a) Licensure shall be

granted in either transliterating or interpreting independently. A person may be licensed in both

areas if he or she is qualified as defined in section subsection 5-71-8(a).

     (b) No person shall practice or holds hold him or herself out as being able to practice

interpreting for the deaf, or transliterating for the deaf, or educational interpreting for the deaf as

defined in section 5-71-3 unless he or she shall be licensed in accordance with the provisions of

the laws of this chapter. No person shall hold himself or herself out as being an educational

interpreter for the deaf as defined in section 5-71-3 unless he or she is licensed in accordance with

the provisions of this chapter.

     (c) Each licensed interpreter for the deaf upon commencing to practice, and upon any

change in address shall promptly notify the department of said change in home or office address,

and shall furnish any other information to the department that it may require. Every licensed

interpreter for the deaf shall annually, before July 1st pay the department a license renewal fee,

that does not exceed thirty-seven dollars and fifty cents ($37.50) fifty dollars ($50.00) for each

license, corresponding to the area under which the person is practicing. The department may

suspend the authority of any licensed interpreter for the deaf to practice for failure to comply with

any of the requirements of this chapter or the regulations promulgated thereunder. The

department makes available for public inspection, a complete list of the names of all interpreters

for the deaf licensed and practicing in the state.

     (d) Three (3) types of licensure may be issued to interpreters and or transliterators for the

deaf:

     (1) A certified license shall be granted to interpreters or transliterators who have met the

certification requirements as set forth in regulations promulgated by the department.;

     (2) A screened license shall be granted to interpreters who have met the educational

requirements as set forth in regulations promulgated by the department, and who have

successfully completed a recognized state screening or state equivalent as determined by the

department in consultation with the board.; and

     (3) A temporary (student) license shall be granted to persons who are currently enrolled

in an accredited interpreter training program to practice interpreting and transliterating. Persons

who receive the temporary license shall be supervised by the interpreter training program. The

licensure is only valid while the person is enrolled as a student in the program and supervised by

a nationally certified interpreter. Beginning July 1, 2012, an educational interpreter license may

be granted to interpreters or transliterators who meet the requirements of subsection 5-71-8(b).

     (e) All licensed interpreters shall be required to complete continuing education, as set

forth in regulations promulgated by the department.

 

     5-71-13. Grounds for suspension or revocation of licenses. (a) The board may

recommend to the director of the department of health the issuance, renewal, or revocation of a

license, or suspension, placement on probation, censure or reprimand a licensee, or any other

disciplinary action that the board may deem appropriate, for conduct that may result from, but not

necessarily be limited to:

     (1) Obtaining his or her license by means of fraud, misrepresentation, or concealment of

material facts;

     (2) Being guilty of fraud, misrepresentation, concealment or material misstatement of

facts or deceit in connection with his or her services rendered as an interpreter or for the deaf,

transliterator for the deaf, or educational interpreter for the deaf;

     (3) Being guilty of unprofessional conduct as defined by the rules established by the

department in consultation with the board, and/or has violated any standard of professional or

ethical conduct adopted by the National registry Registry of Interpreters for the deaf Deaf;

     (4) Violating the continuing education requirements of this chapter as defined in section

subsection 5-71-9(d), and rules and regulations as promulgated by the department;

     (5) Violating any lawful order, or any provision of this chapter or of the rules or

regulations promulgated in this chapter;

     (6) Aiding or assisting another person in violating any provision of this chapter or any

rule or regulation adopted under this chapter;

     (7) Departure from or failure to conform to the current standards of acceptable and

prevailing practice of interpreting for the deaf.

     (b) Working under a license that is expired or on inactive status, working under a license

when certification is expired or on inactive status, and practicing interpreting without being

exempt under chapter 5-71 shall be considered to be practicing without a license.

     (c) The department shall respond to all recommendations from the board under this

section within thirty (30) calendar days.

 

     5-71-15. Persons and practices exempted. -- The provisions of this chapter do not apply

to:

     (1) Any person certified interpreter working as an interpreter or a transliterator in court.

     (2) Interpreters Certified interpreters or transliterators performing as volunteers without

compensation.

     (3) Interpreters Certified interpreters or transliterators performing in an emergency as

defined in subsection 5-71-3(6) and as set forth in regulations promulgated by the department.

     (4) Nonlicensed individuals who are certified members of the Registry of Interpreters for

the Deaf, Inc., (RID) its successor agency or other agency as approved by the department in

consultation with the board, who may provide services for a maximum of twenty-five (25) hours

per calendar year.

 

     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

     

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LC01040/SUB A

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