Sign Language Interpreters: Pre Certified = Committing Fraud

Not An Angry Deaf Person
2 min readOct 18, 2021

Revisiting this because I’m seeing this make the rounds again among newly graduated sign language interpreters. Video originally published on Facebook, July 17, 2019. Pardon my appearance as I had just landed several time zones and an ocean away for a conference.

Image description: White bald man with scruffy facial hair and in need of a trim, wearing a green tshirt against a cream background with a mannequin torso in a corner.

Transcript of Video: Pre-Certified: Perpetuating a Fraud.

I want to discuss Pre-Certified. I’ve noticed that being used. For example, Sarah Reichert’s blog led me to the VCI agency’s staff page. That page listed quite a few “RID, Pre-Certified” staff interpreters. This is misleading. I want interpreters to stop using this label to describe themselves. For one thing, RID has no such official category of “pre-certified.” Pre-certified in itself means nothing. But misleads people to think that you have qualifications from the RID in some form and that you are certain to receive certification.

Either you are or are not certified. To call yourself RID, Pre-Certified is to suggest something that does not exist. This amounts to Fraud. This. Is dangerous to us, deaf people, deaf consumers, and naive hearing consumers. Literally anyone can call themselves Pre-Certified. RID, as an organization, needs to respond to this epidemic. There is no such category and no oversight of those who have yet to be certified by the RID’s current processes. The RID is accountable for how people use their organization’s name, reputation, credibility, and certifying processes to advertise false credentials. Now that this is trending, I’m curious what the RID intends to do?

UPDATE: The RID responded on July 18, 2019, condemning this practice. See their statement with ASL video.

As far as I know, the RID and I have not changed our positions on this question.