National Consortium of Interpreter Education Center logo

The TIEM Center led the evaluation and assessment efforts of the Consortium, for the first time in the history of the Regional Centers. These efforts focused on both identifying and evaluating practices in interpreting education, in order to identify and implement effective practices, and on enhancing the programmatic and administrative contributions of each Regional Center (RIEC).

AA-BA Partnerships

AA-BA Partnerships: Through programmatic initiatives and collaborative endeavors with partners and stakeholders, the AA to BA work team seeks to help foster quality interpreter education programs through enhanced communication, standards of practice, innovative curriculum models, and accreditation. The goals of the AA to BA work team are to forge stronger links between two year and four year Interpreter Education Programs, to elucidate for the field effective models of AA/BA partnerships that lead to successful interpreter education program design, and to establish and promote language standards and programmatic accreditation as critical underpinnings for educational success.

ASL Standards

Literacy in ASL is fundamental to the study of interpreting.  A lack of standards for ASL literacy has hampered interpreter education for 30 years. Having standards for ASL that are carefully articulated with those of other spoken languages will place ASL on equal footing with other world languages and will improve the quality of students coming into interpreter education programs.

From the standpoint of curriculum development we cannot in good conscience or good practice posit outcomes for programs in the absence of standards for incoming students. Anticipated outcomes include a set of standards for ASL that are published alongside the standards for spoken languages in the ACTFL’s Language Standards for the 21st Century.

Deaf Advocacy Training Initiative

In keeping with RSA priorities, the overarching purpose of the Deaf Advocacy Training work team is to enhance the Deaf Community’s experience, effectiveness and utilization of interpreting services. The goal of DAT is to increase the Deaf Community’s ability to self-advocate for effective communication by participating in educational training opportunities that are culturally relevant and linguistically appropriate.

Deaf-Blind Interpreting

The goal of this team is to support the National Taskforce For Deaf Blind Interpreting (NTFDBI) efforts to increase the quality and availability of interpreters for deaf-blind people by supporting the NTFDBI to establish a standard of effective practice. An outcome of this team’s work will include resources and training opportunities for interpreters to better prepare them to work effectively and more linguistically appropriately with deaf-blind individuals.

Deaf Interpreting

The NCIEC is investigating effective practices in Deaf Interpreting Education. A partner network of seven Deaf interpreters has been convened to inform and carry out this work. Ultimately, the goal is to identify effective practices in teaching Deaf interpreting, including curriculum and appropriate delivery methods to meet the educational needs of current and future Deaf interpreters. You can visit their website to read the annotated bibliography, and access more updated information about this team.

Accomplishments to date and underway include:

  • Conducting a pilot survey gathering demographic and work environment data from Deaf interpreters;
  • Convening a forum on Critical Issues in Deaf Interpreting, June 2006;
  • Presenting on Deaf interpreting at CIT 2006
  • Compiling an annotated bibliography on Deaf Interpreting available online;
  • Conducting a series of small focus groups and interviews, one in each of the NCIEC regions and one for Deaf interpreters of color for the purpose of identifying current DI practices and training needs;
  • Presentation of Critical Issues in Deaf Interpreting at RID 2007;
  • Conducting a national survey of Deaf interpreters to gather demographic and work environment data;
  • Comparing and contrasting learning goals of current Deaf interpreting educational activities;
  • Planning to design, offer, and assess the effectiveness of a Deaf Interpreting education institute Summer 2008.

Ultimately, the goal is to identify effective practices in teaching Deaf interpreting, including curriculum and appropriate delivery methods to meet the educational needs of current and future Deaf interpreters. You can visit their website to read the annotated bibliography, and access more updated information about this team.

Discover Interpreting

The NCIEC has embarked on a nationwide marketing campaign, ‘Discover Interpreting,’ designed to draw men and women from diverse backgrounds into careers as American Sign Language-English interpreters.  

The goal of the project is to create an attractive, inviting image of interpreting as a viable career option through the production and dissemination of brochures and posters, a recruitment website, public service announcements (PSA), and other media materials. This initiative has disseminated 20,000 brochures to high school counselors, interpreting education programs, and other targeted audiences through mail, conference exhibits and packets, and established, where prospective interpreters can learn more about the field and the interpreting community. Brochures are disseminated in local high schools through mail and college recruiting events, college foreign language classes, and to agencies and businesses that interact with the Deaf and interpreting communities.

Effective Practices

Effective Practices Team

The Effective Practices Team (EPT) serves to help the NCIEC achieve its outcome targets and programmatic responsibilities through the identification and use of research based, effective practices.  All  tools are in the public domain, and were developed with funding from the U.S. Department of Education RSA CFDA #84.160A and B, Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind. 

The EPT identified and implements the effective practices protocol of the NCIEC. This common protocol is to Investigates current and existing standard and best practices through extensive literature reviews, data collection from expert perspectives, focus groups, surveys, program assessments, and analysis. Where existing practices demonstrate evidence of best or promising outcomes, we evaluate outcomes for impact. Where gaps are identified in existing practice, we provide expert guidance to the NCIEC cross-regional teams for the development and evaluation of new practices.

The team offers assistance to NCIEC work teams through:

  • Project Proposal Analysis and Guidance towards Effective Practices: The team reviews every NCIEC proposed initiative to insure that its approach, practices, and activities satisfy the expectations of the NCIEC that our work reflects the highest standards of data collection, analysis, and evaluation of practices in order to demonstrate their effectiveness.
  • Data Collection Assistance. Our work has typically been focused on research design and instrument design, leaving the work teams to implement the surveys and data collection tools with which we have assisted.
  • Data Analysis Services. Teams that have gathered data receive a basic level of data analysis services focused on analysis and write up of standard surveys and data collection tools.
  • NCIEC Outcomes Review. To assist the Consortium in meeting its overall goals, the team developed an analysis of the GPRA standards for the RSA grant program that funds the consortium, and to either identify the RSA program outcome goals for this project or propose to RSA what we think they ought to be.


Team Lead:
Dr. Betsy Winston

Arroyo Research

Dr. Laurie Swabey
Dr. Cheryl Davis
Ms. Anna Witter-Merithew
Ms. Lillian Garcia Peterkin

Linguistic & Cultural Diversity

The NCIEC is working to ensure that all NCIEC activities and products include perspectives and input from linguistically and culturally diverse communities. We actively seek feedback, counsel and involvement from stakeholders who are under-represented in our field. Furthermore, we understand that people access NCIEC information and programs through a variety of ways and work to ensure that all NCIEC materials are accessible to the broadest audience possible.

The Linguistic and Cultural Diversity team strives to continually assess and improve the accessibility of the NCIEC as well as reach out to diverse communities. Currently the team is refining its scope of work to ensure that the perspectives, needs and input from Deaf consumers of all linguistic backgrounds, including semi-lingual and a-lingual, are included. The team values input and feedback and encourages stakeholders to contact the team at any time with suggestions, concerns, ideas, or feedback.


The purpose of the team is to identify and foster quality and effective mentoring as an essential component of the system needed to close the gap between pre-service education and certification, and beyond. The efforts of this team directly support the NCIEC goal of significantly increasing the number of qualified and credentialed interpreters in the field by focusing efforts on identifying current, best, and eventually effective practices in mentoring activities across the country that enhance interpreting services to Deaf, Deafblind, hard of hearing and non-deaf consumers. 

Through these efforts, best practices will be documented and promulgated so that resources and energies invested in mentoring activities are more efficiently and effectively utilized. The goals that guide the work of the Mentoring work-team include:

  • Identify the current, best and eventually effective practices in mentoring of ASL/English interpreters.
  • Identify resources that effectively enhance mentoring activities.
  • Promote: 1) standards and 2) programmatic evaluation as critical elements in fostering and maintaining effective mentoring practices.
  • Foster and support mentoring initiatives which are effective, sustainable, and replicable.

Needs Assessments

The TIEM Center spearheaded the seminal National Consortium (NCIEC) Needs Assessments Initiative (2005-2010). During that tenure, the first national needs assessments in interpreting, interpreting education, and vocational rehabilitation were designed, implemented and widely disseminated. Produced with funding from RSA #H160A&B, the information informed the field and have been essential for those creating the vision of our future in interpreting education. The needs assessment reports produced under our leadership are available through the link. Included, wherever possible, are the final reports, any webinars and other supporting materials.

Interpreter Education Needs Assessments (2007 ; 2010)

Practitioner Needs Assessment (2007 ; 2010)

Deaf Consumer Needs Assessment Reports (2008; 2009; Comparison 2009)

Vocational Rehabilitation Needs Assessment Report 2009

Interpreter Referral Agency Report

Please contact us at the for more information. You can also contact the National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials (NCRTM) to access this material.