I just found out I earned the Texas Board for Evaluation of Interpreters Court Interpreter Certificate (BEI CIC)! This is a very stringent test of ASL/English interpreting skill in legal / judicial / law enforcement contexts. It took two attempts, almost three years apart, for me to pass. The first time it took seven months to find out I didn’t pass; the second time it took three months to find out I passed. There was a whole year during COVID-19 quarantine when they were not administering the test, so when the BEI started administering the test again, I jumped on the chance to take it. I needed it to keep doing legal interpreting in my home state of Arizona!
The Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACDHH) is the licensing body for ASL/English interpreters in the state of Arizona, and in order for one to get a license, one must be certified by either the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) or the BEI. That’s just for a general license. For the Legal A license, which is required for an interpreter to work alone in all legal settings, one must hold either the RID Specialist Certificate: Legal (SC:L, which was placed under moratorium in 2016) or the BEI CIC. One used to be able to take the SC:L test at any nearby testing location, but the BEI CIC test can only be taken in Austin, TX, which makes taking the test a business trip, including flight, hotel, and rental car— quite expensive! It’s worth it to me, though, because I love legal interpreting, have been doing it for six years now, and needed the BEI CIC to keep doing it. I do get paid more for legal interpreting, and am more in demand because I can be assigned to do legal jobs, so the expense of becoming certified is a worthwhile cost of doing business. Above all, certification is important to me because it requires me to improve my skills so I can give better service to consumers.
This is my sixth interpreting certificate. I earned the California Association of the Deaf Certificate of Competence Level IV – Advanced (CAD IV) in 1991, the National Association of the Deaf Certificate of Competence Level IV – Advanced (NAD IV) in 1998, the RID Certificate of Interpretation (CI) in 1998, the RID Certificate of Transliteration (CT) in 1999, the NAD-RID National Interpreter Certificate (NIC) Master in 2010, and now the BEI CIC in 2021.