Michigan Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf

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Information for Working Interpreters

If you have any suggestions for additional resources, please let us know at publications@mirid.org.    

Frequently Asked Questions

How do Michigan rules define “effective communication”?

 (l) “Effective communication” means that all involved parties understand each other for the exchange of visual and audio information about ideas, attitudes, emotions, or behavior that occurs between 2 or more persons, through a common system of language that is equally and fully understood by a deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing person (D/DB/HH) and hearing persons. The interpreter must possess sign language to English – English to sign language skills and necessary vocabulary for the situation so that all parties have access to the same information. (R 393.5003, p. 2)

What happens if while interpreting an unexpected medical emergency happens for which I would normally not be qualified to interpret? 

Rule 29 outlines provisions that may allow you to interpret legally until a properly qualified interpreter of other means of effective communication is established. Jump to page 13 to read about this potentially life saving rule.

How does the Michigan BEI Testing Cycle work?

 Rule 42. 

  (1) A person tested under the state testing system for certification shall participate in a 4-year testing cycle and retest at the next higher level of certification until passing the MI BEI II or its equivalent. After passing the MI BEI II or its equivalent, the person is not required to retest every 4 years as long as the certification does not lapse.

  (2) A person who is required to retest will retain his or her current level of certification.

  (3) A person holding current national certification or the state-recognized EIPA certification of 4.0 shall not be required to retest to renew his orher certification.    (R 393.5042, p. 16)

Must I always carry my Michigan interpreter credential card?

Rule 51 (2) Before starting a proceeding, an interpreter shall show his or her current Michigan qualified interpreter credential card to the appointing authority and D/DB/HH person(s). If the credential card does not include a photograph, the interpreter must present it along with validgovernment issued photo identification.   (R 393.5051, p. 16)

Can I interpret for my coworkers on occasion? 

In most cases it’s completely acceptable, but Rule 51 (5) stipulates:

 (5) A qualified interpreter may interpret for a proceeding for a co-worker or peer during organizational meetings, workshops, seminars, union discussions, or whennot a participant in the meeting, but shall not interpret for a co-worker or peer during a disciplinary meeting, conflict resolution, personal meeting, or employmentdispute. A neutral qualified interpreter shall be used, upon request of the D/DB/HH person.   (R 393.5051, p. 17)

NOTE: All questions and requests for clarification should be directed to DODDBHH. 


P.O. Box 1143

Temperance, MI 48182


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