Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

P. O. Box 2120

Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120


December 19, 2003



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Educational Interpreter Qualifications and Training Opportunities



Educational interpreters play a valuable role in the education of children with deafness and hearing impairment. These children depend on the interpreter for their mastery of the material and their ability to communicate with teachers and peers. The Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia include qualification requirements for personnel providing interpreting services in Virginia public schools (see Attachment A). The requirements apply to all personnel who interpret, regardless of their job title. Attachment B provides further information about interpreters.


The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) offers funds to create professional development opportunities to enable persons who provide interpreting services to receive the training and mentoring to achieve the necessary skills to meet the qualification requirements. These funds are dispersed to school divisions on a regional basis. A grant coordinator in each region works with each interpreter to develop an interpreter training plan and ensures that training is aligned with the plan. Attachment D provides a list of the regional grant coordinators who may be contacted regarding training opportunities.


As a condition of participating in the grant, each division/state-operated program human resource director must certify that all interpreters who do not meet the qualification standards will participate in grant funded activities (assessment, training, or mentoring) as a condition of employment (Attachment E). This certification should be submitted to the Department of Education by January 15, 2004.


For further information about interpreter qualification requirements or to submit a waiver of the qualification requirements brochure, contact Lissa Power-deFur, director of student services at (804) 225-2818 or For information on the field of interpreting and interpreter

training, contact Debbie Pfeiffer at the Virginia Commonwealth University Partnership for People with Disabilities at (804) 828-1342 or