Model Voir Dire for Qualifying a Non-Certified
Sign Language Interpreter or Transliterator

At minimum, the tribunal should ask the following questions of a proposed non-certified sign language interpreter or transliterator:
  1. Do you hold certification by any professional organization as a sign language interpreter or transliterator? If so, what type and by which organization? Is it current?

  2. Do you hold any special legal certifications in sign language interpretation or transliteration? (Specialists Certificate – Legal: SC-L or Conditional Legal Interpreter Permit: CLIP)

  3. Are you registered with the Pennsylvania Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing as a sign language interpreter or transliterator?

  4. What was the highest grade or degree you completed in school?

  5. Did you formally study American Sign Language (ASL)? If not, how did you learn ASL?

  6. Have you ever had your interpreting skills evaluated – such as a skills assessment? When, where and by whom?

  7. Do you know how to interpret the applicable legal terms in both languages?

  8. How many times have you interpreted in a court or administrative tribunal?

  9. Have you ever been disqualified from interpreting in any court or administrative proceeding? If so, why?

  10. Have you interpreted for this type of proceeding before?

  11. In what other settings have you interpreted?

  12. Are you familiar with the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Interpreters, and the RID Code of Ethics for Sign Language Interpreters? If so, please tell me some of their main points.

  13. Are you a potential party or witness in this case?

  14. Do you know or work for any of the parties, lawyers or witnesses in this case?

  15. Do you have any other potential conflicts of interests?

  16. Have you had an opportunity to speak with [name of individual requiring interpreter services] informally? Were there any particular communication problems between you?

  17. Have you ever provided interpreter services for this individual before? If so, in what capacity? Did you experience any difficulty in communicating with him/her?

  18. Are you familiar with the sign system utilized by the individual?

  19. Can you interpret simultaneously, accurately and consecutively without omitting, adding or changing anything that is said?
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