Sign Language Interpreters - State-By-State Directories

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Sign Language Interpreter. Hannah Johnston / Getty Images

Sometimes there is a need to hire a qualified sign language interpreter. One way to find them is by consulting state vocational rehabilitation offices or departments/commissions for the deaf and hard of hearing.

In addition, some states have legislation requiring the maintenance of a list of qualified interpreters and interpreting service agencies. More states, in an effort to upgrade interpreter quality, are implementing or upgrading certification requirements. Some states require licensed interpreters to register with the state.

Below is a list of state-maintained interpreter lists, databases, and referral pages, as well as other useful resources. Every state in the United States is represented on this list.

These links are often changed. If a link is broken, please bring it to my attention.

Alabama -- The Alabama Licensure Board for Interpreters and Transliterators has lists of licensed, permitted, educational, and provisional interpreters.

Alaska -- The Alaska ADA Compliance Program has an interpreter referral service.

Arizona -- The Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has a list of licensed interpreters. Go to the home page, and look for the list.

Arkansas -- The Arkansas Department of Health's Advisory Board for Interpreters for the Deaf provides a list of licensed qualified and provisional interpreters in the state.

California -- California's Deaf Access Program has eight service providers who provide interpreter referral services.

Colorado -- The Colorado Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf may be a useful resource.

Connecticut -- The Connecticut Department of Aging and Disability Services keeps a list of registered interpreters.

Delaware -- Delaware's Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing provides information on making arrangements to obtain a sign language interpreter.

District of Columbia -- Several interpreting agencies are listed in my article on the Washington, DC area deaf community.

Florida -- The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind has a directory of deaf and heard of hearing resources throughout Florida, including interpreting.

Georgia -- The Georgia Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has an interpreter request service.

Hawaii -- The Hawaii Interpreting Services is a privately owned organization that provides interpreting services.

Idaho -- The Idaho Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has a directory of Idaho interpreters.

Illinois -- The Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission has a directory of interpreters.

Indiana -- Indiana's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services has a directory of organizations and services for deaf and hard of hearing.

Iowa -- The Iowa Bureau of Professional Licensure has a downloadable database of licensed sign language interpreters. On the page, look for "Public List of Active Licensees by Profession" and click on the link to the database. Select "sign language interpreter" and "translator" from the list of professions.

Kansas -- The Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing website states they have interpreter referral services but no directory is available online. Please contact them for more information.

Kentucky - The Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has information on requesting an interpreter.

Louisiana -- The Louisiana Commission for the Deaf has a registry of certified interpreters.

Maine -- The Maine Division for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing & Late Deafened has a listing of legal interpreters and interpreting service agencies.

Maryland -- The Maryland Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has a list of services.

Massachusetts -- The Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has an interpreter request form.

Michigan -- The Michigan Division On Deaf, Deafblind And Hard Of Hearing publishes an interpreter directory.

Minnesota -- Minnesota's Department of Human Services has a listing of interpreting service agencies.

Mississippi -- The Mississippi Office on Deaf and Hard of Hearing has a listing of deaf service agencies that offer interpreter referral.

Missouri -- The Missouri Division of Professional Registration has a downloadable directory of registered interpreters.

Montana -- One resource is the Montana Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

Nebraska -- Nebraska's Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has an interpreter referral service.

Nevada -- Nevada's Aging and Disability Services has Deaf Resource Centers in Reno and Las Vegas.

New Hampshire -- The Northeast Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services is a nonprofit organization in New Hampshire and has an interpreter referral service.

New Jersey -- New Jersey's Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has a directory of interpreters.

New Mexico -- The New Mexico Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing provides referrals to interpreter services.

New York -- The New York State Department of Education provides a list of interpreting services.

North Carolina -- The North Carolina DHS Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has an interpreter directory that includes separate lists of interpreter service agencies and referral agencies.

North Dakota -- The North Dakota School for the Deaf offers a list of certified interpreters.

Ohio -- The state's Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities runs Community Centers for the Deaf that offer interpreting services.

Oklahoma -- The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services has a listing of certified interpreters in Oklahoma, plus a second list of educational interpreters. In addition, Sign Language Resource Services, Inc. is an interpreting service agency that serves the entire state of Oklahoma.

Oregon -- Request an interpreter through the Oregon Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services' interpreter request forms.

Pennsylvania -- The Pennsylvania Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing has an interpreter database.

Rhode Island -- The Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has an interpreter request form.

South Carolina -- The South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind offers interpreting services.

South Dakota -- South Dakota's Division of Rehabilitation Services, Deaf Services program has an interpreter registry.

Tennessee -- Tennessee Council for the Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing has community centers that offer interpreter services.

Texas -- The Texas Board for Evaluation of Interpreters has a database.

Utah -- Utah has the Utah Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, has an interpreter directory and a list of interpreter referral services.

Vermont -- Vermont Interpreter Referral Service is funded by the state department of vocational rehabilitation.

Virginia -- Virginia's Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has an interpreter directory.

Washington -- Washington State's Department of Social and Health Services has a listing of interpreters.

West Virginia -- The West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has a listing of interpreters.

Wisconsin -- The Wisconsin Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has a directory of freelance interpreters.

Wyoming -- The Wyoming Division Of Vocational Rehabilitation provides a list of interpreters.

Another option is to consult the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf database. However, not all interpreters are RID members or certified by RID.

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