P. O. BOX 2120
June 25, 1999


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Survey: Educational Interpreters and 
In 1997, the Department created a database of persons 
providing educational interpreting services in local school 
divisions and state operated programs. Local school 
divisions and state operated programs were surveyed to 
provide information regarding qualifications and employment 
dates of all persons providing educational interpreting 
services.  Attachment A displays the results of this survey 
for 1996-97 and 1997-98.

The Department is gathering the third year of data for this 
database.  The attached survey is to provide information 
about the number of persons employed in 1998-99 who provide 
educational interpreting services.  In order to ensure the 
person's qualifications are current, qualification status 
should be verified through documentation from the Virginia 
Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) or one 
of the organizations offering national certification 
(Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf [RID] or the Training 
Evaluation and Certification Unit [TECUnit] for Cued 
Speech).  Certification from another state and from the 
National Association of the Deaf should be submitted to 
VDDHH for analysis. 

It should be noted that the Regulations Governing Special 
Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in 
Virginia (Regulations) specify the qualification 
requirements for persons providing educational interpreting 
services at 3.3 (C) as follows: 

Persons must hold a VQAS Level III, or any Registry of 
Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) Certificate (excluding
Certificate of Deaf Interpretation) or a national cued
speech certification. 

The requirements apply to any person who provides 
educational interpreting services, not only to those persons 
whose job title is educational interpreter.  As such, other 
school personnel may need to meet this qualification 
standard if they provide 
educational interpreting services.  Such persons may be 
employed as teachers or teacher aides/assistants. 

Persons who do not hold this qualification standard may be 
employed according to the following criteria: 

*   Hold a VQAS Level I upon hiring date in the local school 
division or state operated program; and, 

*   Achieve a VQAS Level III (or national certification) by 
the third anniversary date of hiring in any local school 
division or state operated program. 

The Special Education Program Standards include requirements 
for obtaining a waiver of qualification standards at ?3.1 

*    A non-renewable waiver may be provided for individuals 
who have not achieved a VQAS Level I, for one year after 
the individual's hiring date. 

*    A non-renewable one-year waiver may be provided for      
individuals who have not attained a VQAS Level III by 
the third anniversary of their hiring date. 

Many persons employed in local school divisions need to 
complete a VQAS Performance Assessment, prior to September 
1999.  As a result, the Department encourages local school 
divisions to ensure that interpreters register for the 
assessment promptly.  In this manner VDDHH can identify the 
number of assessments it needs to offer.  Registration forms 
may be obtained by contacting: 

        Ratcliffe Building, Suite 203            
        1602 Rolling Hills Drive            
        Richmond, VA 23229-5012 
        804-662-9502 V/TTY 
        1-800-552-7917 V/TTY
        804-662-9718 FAX

The Department of Education is continuing to work with VDDHH 
to address the high number of persons who will need to be 
assessed in the coming months. 

Please return the completed survey by July 16, 1999 to Ms. 
Brenda Stallard, Office of Special Education and Student 
Services.  Questions about the survey, qualification 
standards and waivers may be directed to Dr. Lissa 
Power-deFur, Associate Director, Special Education and 
Student Services at (804) 225-2818 or via E-Mail at  Thank you for your assistance. 

Attachment:    A hard copy of this memo and its attachments
               will be sent to the superintendent's office.