Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf

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The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc (RID) is a non-profit organization, founded in 1964 and incorporated in 1972, that seeks to uphold standards, ethics, and professionalism for American Sign Language interpreters. RID is the only organization in the United States that credentials both d/Deaf and Hearing interpreters to provide services in a wide range of settings, as well as test and certify interpreters for legal work. The RID Board is committed to the "4 R's" which are: Roots, Respect, Relevance and Results. As of 2014 there were over 15,000 members and 58 affiliate chapters.[1]

Since August 2004, RID has been building stronger ties with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), including a joint Code of Professional Ethics and the merging of their respective certification programs. They jointly developed the National Interpreter Certification test (NIC), which was adopted in 2005.

RID is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, with a roughly $3,000,000 annual budget and around 20 employees. The association's operations are led by an executive director (currently vacant) and governed by an eleven-member board of directors.

Governance and Operations[edit]

RID is governed by an eleven-member board of directors elected directly by the voting membership for a two-year term. Voting rights are determined by being a member in good standing of both RID (in the certified or associate category) and a sanctioned affiliate chapter. The board is made up of the following positions:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Member-at-Large
  • Deaf Member-at-Large
  • Region I Representative
  • Region II Representative
  • Region III Representative
  • Region IV Representative
  • Region V Representative

Following the expiration of the president's term, they serve an ex officio non-voting term on the board of directors as Immediate Past President.

The Executive Board consists of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Member-at-Large, and Deaf Member-at-Large, and is elected on odd years for two-year terms. The regional representative positions are elected on even years for two-year terms.

To run for election to the Executive Board, members must collect 25 nomination signatures from voting members with at least one from each region of RID. Regional representative candidates must collect 25 nomination signatures from within their region. All positions except the Member-at Large require the candidate to be certified member of RID for four consecutive years prior to candidacy. Member-at-Large requires either associate or certified membership in RID for four consecutive years prior to candidacy. Additionally, regional representative candidates must have resided in their region at least two years prior to candidacy[2]. If there are more than one candidates, an election is held via on-line balloting. p

The 2007–2018 board of directors are as follows:

RID Board of Directors
Office Name Residence Elected
President Melvin Walker Alabama 2013 Vice President

2015 Vice President

2017 President

Vice President Sandra Maloney Michigan 2014 Region III Representative

2016 Region III Representative

2017 Vice President

Secretary Joshua Pennise New York 2012 Region II Representative

2014–2015 not on board

2015 Secretary

2017 Secretary

Treasurer Carolyn Ball Utah 2017 Treasurer
Member-at-Large Len Roberson Florida 2017 Member-at-Large
Deaf Member-at-Large Branton Stewart California 2013 temporary appointment, Deaf Member-at-Large

2013–2017 not on board

2017 Deaf Member-at-Large

Region I Representative VACANT NA NA (Hartmut Teuber resigned in 2017)
Region II Representative Brenda Sellers Tennessee 2016 Region II Representative
Region III Representative VACANT NA NA (No candidate ran for election)
Region IV Representative Sonja Smith Texas 2016 Region IV Representative
Region V Representative Mish Ktejik California 2016 Region V Representative

RID operations are conducted by a paid staff led by an Executive Director. Since 2014, RID has not had a permanent Executive Director following the departure of Shane Feldman. The board contracted with Anna Witter-Merithew who served as Interim Executive Director until August 2017. Since that time, the board has served as Executive Director through President Melvin Walker while continuing a permanent Executive Director search.

Code of Professional Conduct[edit]

As part of their push to improve the ethical behavior of practitioners in the field, RID revised and updated existing guidelines from the Code of Ethics.[3] In 2005, the Code of Professional Conduct was adopted as the newest set of principles interpreters should adhere to. Certified interpreters have an especially strong duty to follow the principles laid out by RID, for the integrity of the work, the well being of the stakeholders, and to avoid causing harm.

The tenets from the current Code of Professional Conduct are:

  1. Interpreters adhere to standards of confidential communication.
  2. Interpreters possess the professional skills and knowledge required for the specific interpreting situation.
  3. Interpreters conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the specific interpreting situation.
  4. Interpreters demonstrate respect for consumers.
  5. Interpreters demonstrate respect for colleagues, interns, and students of the profession.
  6. Interpreters maintain ethical business practices.
  7. Interpreters engage in professional development.

RID certifications[edit]

RID has a national certification system with three key components:[4]

  • The National Testing System (NTS)
  • The Certification Maintenance Program (CMP) - assures the continual skill development of certified interpreters.
  • The Ethical Practices System (EPS) - gives consumers the ability to express concerns or make complaints about the quality of interpreting/transliterating services.

In previous incarnations of the NTS, the following certifications were given to interpreters meeting the testing criteria (All credentials awarded by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf will remain valid as long as the holder of said certification(s) maintains their membership and maintenance program.):

Previously offered certificates:

  • CSC - Comprehensive Skills Certificate (1972–1988)
  • MCSC - Master Comprehensive Skills Certificate (1972–1988)
  • RSC - Reverse Skills Certificate - awarded only to Deaf / hard-of-hearing interpreters/transliterators (1972–1988)
  • OIC:C - Oral Interpreting Certificate, Comprehensive (1979–1985)
  • OIC: S/V - Oral Interpreting Certificate, Spoken to Visible (1979–1985)
  • OIC: V/S - Oral Interpreting Certificate, Visible to Spoken (1979–1985)
  • IC - Interpretation Certificate (1972–1988)
  • TC - Transliteration Certificate (1972–1988)
  • IC/TC - Interpretation and Transliteration Certificates (1972–1988)
  • SC: L - Specialist Certificate: Legal (first certificate version of this certification was offered 1975–1978)
  • SC: PA - Specialist Certificate: Performing Arts (1971–1988)
  • OIC: C - Oral Interpreting Certificate (1979–1983)
  • CI - Certificate of Interpretation (1988–2005)
  • CT - Certificate of Transliteration (1988–2005)
  • NIC Advanced and NIC Master (These levels were offered from 2005 to 2011)

Currently offered certificates:

  • CDI - Certified Deaf Interpreter (On moratorium since August, 2015)
  • OTC - Oral Transliteration Certificate (On moratorium since August, 2015)
  • SC: L - Specialist Certificate: Legal (On moratorium since August, 2015)
  • NIC- National Interpreter Certification

RID granted certified membership to holders of the defunct NAD certification at levels III, IV and V as well as those who pass the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) at proficiency level 4.0 with a passing score on the EIPA written exam. The certifications for these members are listed as:

  • NAD IV
  • NAD V
  • ED:K12

No new certified member status is being granted for any of these categories.

As of July 2005, a new certification test, developed with the NAD, was implemented and the CI and CT tests began to be phased out. The new generalist certification for hearing interpreters is the NAD-RID National Interpreter Certification (NIC). In 2015 NAD decided to withdraw its involvement from the NIC resulting its name being removed from the test.


RID formed a limited liability company called the Center for Assessment of Sign Language Interpretation (CASLI) in 2015 to carry out all testing functions. CASLI is a wholly owned subsidiary, supported operationally by RID headquarters staff and governed by a Managing Board that reports to the RID Board of Directors. As of 2017, the Board of Managers consisted of:

Board of Managers
Office Name
President Miako Villanueva
Vice President Keith Cagle
Vice President Patrick Boudreault
Secretary Anthony Aramburo
Treasurer Lyle Vold

In 2017, CASLI's operations began direct supervision by Star Grieser, CDI who reports to the RID Deputy Director.

CASLI's formation began a clearer philosophical and practical split of certification from professional testing. Under this new scheme, CASLI is granted greater autonomy to design, prepare and conduct generalist testing for both Deaf and hearing interpreters. RID retains the function of certifying interpreters based on their testing results and other certification criteria. As such, the EPS and CMP systems remain under RID's direct control.

Certification and Testing
RID Functions (Certification) CASLI Functions (Testing)
Track eligibility for certification Develop written and performance generalist tests
Issue certifications based on multiple criteria, including CASLI test outcomes, education and training Contract with psyshometricians and other experts for test development
Administer Ethical Practices System (EPS) Contract with vendors to administer the test
Administer Certification Maintenance Program (CMP) Train and supervise test raters

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "RID - 2014 Annual Report". Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "RID Bylaws". 
  3. ^ "NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct" (PDF). Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 September 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "About RID Overview". Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Archived from the original on 1 June 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 

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