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Senate Bill 1236 — Educational interpreters

Senate Bill 1236 — Educational interpreters

Lindsay Atkinson
January 23, 2020

Bill description: SB 1236 would change the basis for what defines a student from grade level to age, thus opening up more opportunities for educational interpreters.

Rating: +1

Does it increase barriers to entry into the market? Examples include occupational licensure, the minimum wage, and restrictions on home businesses. Conversely, does it remove barriers to entry into the market? 

In Idaho, educational interpreters provide interpreting services “for students who are deaf, hard of hearing or deaf-blind.” Educational interpreters are exempt from having to be licensed as sign language interpreters by the Idaho Speech, Hearing, and Communication Services Licensure Board. Instead, they have their own licensing requirements, which include passing an exam and obtaining a certification within a certain time. 

As state law is currently written, the exemption from licensure as a sign language interpreter granted to educational interpreters only applies to interpreters working with students from kindergarten through grade 12. This bill recognizes that students with disabilities may not be bound to these conventional grade levels, so it changes this section of Idaho Code to make it apply to those who provide interpreting services to students age 3 to 21. 

Making this change from grade level to age level ensures that educational interpreters who work with older students, those above the grade 12 level, are offered the same exemption from having to meet the licensing requirements for sign language interpreters, as others.


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