Sec. 81.007: Board for Evaluation of Interpreters

(a) The department may establish a program in accordance with this section for the certification of interpreters who have reached varying levels of proficiency in communication skills necessary to facilitate communication between persons who are deaf or hard of hearing and persons who are not deaf or hard of hearing.

(b) The department shall appoint an advisory board of seven persons to assist in administering the interpreter certification program. A board member may not receive compensation, but is entitled to reimbursement of the travel expenses incurred by the member while conducting the business of the board, as provided in the General Appropriations Act.

(c) The board shall develop, subject to the department's approval, and the executive commissioner shall adopt qualifications for each of several levels of certification based on proficiency. The board shall evaluate and certify interpreters using these qualifications.

(d) A qualified board member may serve as an evaluator under Subsection (c), and the department shall compensate the board member for services performed as an evaluator.

(e) The executive commissioner by rule shall set and the department shall collect fees for written and performance examinations, for annual certificate renewal, and for recertification. The fees must be in an amount sufficient to recover the costs of the certification program.

(f) The department may waive any prerequisite to obtaining a certificate for an applicant after reviewing the applicant's credentials and determining that the applicant holds a certificate issued by another jurisdiction that has certification requirements substantially equivalent to those of this state.

(g) The executive commissioner by rule may adopt a system under which certificates are valid for a five-year period, subject to the certificate holder's payment of an annual certificate renewal fee. After expiration of the five-year period, an interpreter must be recertified by the department. The department may recertify an interpreter who:

(1) receives specified continuing education credits; or

(2) achieves an adequate score on a specified examination.

(h) The executive commissioner shall adopt rules specifying the grounds for denying, suspending, or revoking an interpreter's certificate.

(i) The department shall determine the frequency for conducting the interpreter examinations. The department shall conduct the interpreter examinations:

(1) in a space that can be obtained free of charge; or

(2) at a facility selected in compliance with Section 2113.106, Government Code.

(k) The department shall compensate an evaluator based on a fee schedule as determined by department rule.

(l) The department shall recognize, prepare, or administer continuing education programs for its certificate holders. A certificate holder must participate in the programs to the extent required by the department to keep the person's certificate.

Comments

Added by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2431, ch. 842, art. 2, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 352, ch. 140, Sec. 3, eff. May 14, 1981; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 2177, ch. 403, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 29, 1983; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 619, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 343, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 687, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 722, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 835, Sec. 7, 28(3), eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 122, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 118, Sec. 3, eff. May 23, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 857 (S.B. 2420), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.323, eff. April 2, 2015.