The last part of this unit is understanding some of the controversy and market factors that impact us as a profession. One of things to understand is the history of certification, the controversies, the politics involved, etc.. They are a lot of past certifications to understand; it’s important to go through the outline on the RID website and understand the history of the certifications. Another aspect of certifications that’s quite relevant is the EIPA, the Educational Interpreter Performances Assessment, and how it’s become more and more popular and recognized. There are different opinions on this and it’s something that you need to understand. We also have issues pertaining to economics, pertaining to the laws that provide for interpreting services. Understanding issues through the lens of market disorder is also an important aspect of this unit, so be sure to read that article from the Do It Center.
Another question to consider is: What are some of the pros and cons to the changes in the certification systems? In the past there were a variety of different types of certification and now we are simplifying that, partly for the benefit for our consumers. State licensure is another issue to understand — some state requires a license, some don’t, some have QA testing systems, some don’t, and there are pros and cons there as well. Putting things into perspective and understanding the history of the profession also means understanding how it’s different now from how it was in the 70’s or the 80’s or the 90’s. It’s very useful to talk to some deaf people you know and ask them how their experiences with interpreters have changed over time. Has it gotten easier for them to request interpreters? Has it become more common to have qualified, skilled interpreters? Do they feel a sense of distance between them and the interpreters who didn’t come to sign language through their family or friends but rather through a traditional, educational environment?