Welcome to the Michigan Online Interpreter System

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This directory lists ALL Qualified Interpreters holding the Michigan Certification that is required to work in the state.

If you are providing an interpreter as a legal accommodation for a person who is D/deaf, D/deafBlind or hard of hearing, the law requires that you use an interpreter who is Michigan Certified to be qualified to interpret at the appropriate for the type of proceeding/setting that will be taking place (see link below for additional information). In legal, medical, and elementary education settings, or when working with a person who is deafblind, the interpreter must also hold the corresponding (see link below for additional information).

The Directory also includes information on Interpreter Referral Agencies, and Interpreter Education & Sign Language Programs.

The first step when hiring an interpreter should always be to determine what will provide “equal communication access” to the person(s) using sign language. This means that a person using the sign language interpreter is legally entitled to receive all the same information, services, and have the same interactions, as a person who does not require the accommodation. This can only be done by assessing both the type of communication and setting involved AND the needs of the specific individual receiving the accommodation. Determining an individual’s needs should be an (see link below for additional information).

The entity responsible for acquiring interpreters may either contact individual interpreters directly or use an interpreter referral . There are two ways an agency can be used (see link below for additional information) and both parties should use caution to be clear which has the legal responsibility and liability if anyone less than a fully qualified interpreter is provided. Efforts to secure a qualified interpreter should begin as soon it becomes apparent one may be needed. Unreasonable delay in doing so may result in a legal finding of a failure to provide a required accommodation if the delay results in the unavailability of a qualified interpreter. Assignments of two hours or more require more than one interpreter.

Interpreters may be searched by name, region, or appropriate standard level. Interpreters whose names are listed in multiple regions have indicated that they are willing to travel to those specific areas. If you cannot locate the name of a specific interpreter, try using variant spellings, using only the first or last name, or search by geographic area. Last names in particular may change from time to time.

Michigan certified interpreters are issued identification cards that indicate, their current skill level, and any Endorsements they hold. It is standard practice to ask interpreters to show their cards. All Michigan certified interpreters are bound by the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct which stresses the confidentiality of interpreted information.

If you are unable to find a qualified interpreter or have questions, please contact the Division on Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing at 313-437-7035 or at doddbhh@michigan.gov.

Caution: Michigan law requires that an interpreter be provided who is BOTH qualified and effective. The Interpreter Directory is published to assist in locating qualified interpreters. However, using a qualified interpreter does not and cannot guarantee an interpreter’s effectiveness in any specific situation, or with any specific individuals. A provider has a responsibility to act appropriately if it appears an interpreter is not effective, regardless of whether they are qualified.

Recommendation: Please contact the Division for consultation and technical assistance when providing services to persons with hearing loss, if you are seeking an interpreter for an unusual or complex situation, or if you are unsure what qualification level an interpreter is required to have in a particular set of circumstances, or with any other question you may have.
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