P. O. BOX 2120
April 4, 1997


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Survey: Educational Interpreters for Students Using Sign Language

     Your attention is called to Regulations Governing Special
  Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia
  which require, at 3.3 - C. (p.30), that persons providing
  interpreting services for students using sign language or cued
  speech must hold a Virginia Quality Assurance Screening (VQAS)
  Level III, or any Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID)
  Certificate  (excluding Certificate of Deaf Interpretation) or
  any national cued speech association certification.  Further,
  Special Education Program Standards provide that persons
  employed for the 1994-95 school year or before must achieve
  this level by the fall of 1997.  Persons employed after the
  1994-95 school year must achieve this level by the third
  anniversary of their employment date.  A one-year, non-
  renewable waiver may be requested for persons who have not
  achieved the Level III by the required date.  These standards
  also permit a one-year non-renewable waiver for persons
  without any VQAS or RID certification.  However, persons must
  achieve a VQAS Level I by the first anniversary of their
  employment date.

     The attached survey is to provide to the Department
  information about the number of educational interpreters
  currently employed by local school divisions and their status
  relative to certification and employment.  This information
  will assist the Department of Education and the Department for
  the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to determine the current
  availability of qualified educational interpreters, to
  evaluate the current special education requirements pertaining
  to interpreters, and to assess the need for continuing
  training to assist interpreters in reaching the required

     Please return the completed survey by May 2, 1997 to Ms.
  Ossie Lawrence, Office of Special Education and Student
  Services.  Questions may be referred to Lissa Power-deFur at
  (804) 225-2818 or via e-mail at 
  Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.