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Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf :

Katie Caillavet
November 11, 2001

Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf

         It is hard for a young person to imagine a time when a structured system for interpreting for the deaf was not common practice.  Believe it or not, the founding of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf took place only decades ago at a workshop at Ball State Teachers College on June 14, 1964.  Biographer of RID's history, Lou Fant, was once quoted saying "The interpreter scene prior to 1964 was so vastly different from that which exists today that that it is a strain on the imagination to contemplate it. We did not work as interpreters, but rather volunteered our services as our schedules permitted.  If we received any compensation it was freely given and happily accepted, but not expected ("
         The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf is a nationwide organization with Chapters in all of the fifty states.  Each chapter has its own ideas and practices, but all of them share the same common goals.  The Texas division, named the Texas Society of Interpreting for the Deaf, was established on Nov. 16, 1963 and is located in Austin.  Some of the better known chapters include the Sacramento Valley division and the Potomac chapter, serving Maryland and the District of Columbia.  These establishments work just as any other non-profit organizations.  Membership is based upon participation and involvement in the deaf community.  Each person must submit an official application form and must pay the appropriate dues.  Each year the member has the chance to renew his or her membership.  There are a number of purposes for the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.  The first, and probably the most important purpose is to further the development of effective communication skills in interpreting and transliterating.  Also, RID is involved in the exchanging of ideas, opinions, and experiences concerning interpreting.  Members can discuss any problems they may have or voice questions concerning their work.  Members are also provided with information on speakers, workshops and classes available to them.  Altogether they strive for the attainment of the highest standards in these communication skills.  Acting as a whole, members of RID help to support the rights of Deaf and Hearing people.  They also work to improve professional and ethical standards for interpreters.  In addition, RID administers the National Testing System that certifies interpreters.  RID prides itself in working to provide the "three Q's" of interpreting: Quantity, Qualifications and Quality, or more commonly referred to as the RID Triad ( ).  This consists of:  training for new and professional Interpreters through the Professional Development Committee (PDC), and the Certification Maintenance Program, continued certification through RID's National Testing System, and self-regulation through a national Ethical Practices System ( ). 
        Even though the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf has only recently been established, people all over the world, Deaf and Hearing alike, have greatly benefited from its creation.  The goal of RID is to promote the profession of interpreting and transliterating American Sign Language and English and this goal is being accomplished everyday through new people taking up ASL everyday and new memberships to RID. 


Potomac Chapter Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.  Retrieved Nov. 10, 2001.
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Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.  Retrieved Nov. 10, 2001.
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Sacramento Valley Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.  Retrieved Nov. 10, 2001.
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