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ASL-English Interpreter Handbook



The American Deaf community represents a cultural and linguistic minority having the inalienable right to full and equal communication to participation in all aspects of society. Members of the American Deaf community have the right to informed choice and the highest quality interpreting services. Recognition of the communication rights of America's women, men, and children who are Deaf/deaf is the foundation of the tenets, principles, and behaviors set forth in this Code of Professional Conduct (RID, 2013).


The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID) uphold high standards of professionalism and ethical conduct for interpreters. Embodied in this Code of Professional Conduct (CPC) are seven tenets setting forth guiding principles, followed by illustrative behaviors.

The tenets of this CPC are to be viewed holistically and as a guide to professional behavior. This Interpreter Handbook provides assistance in complying with the code. The guiding principles offer the basis upon which the tenets are articulated. The illustrative behaviors are not exhaustive, but are indicative of the conduct that may either conform to or violate a specific tenet or the code as a whole.

When in doubt, the reader should refer to the explicit language of the CPC at the website. The CPC is sufficient to encompass interpreter roles and responsibilities in every type of situation (e.g., legal, medical, postsecondary). A separate code for each area of interpreting is neither necessary nor advisable (RID, 2013).

Function of the Guiding Principles

It is the obligation of every interpreter to exercise judgment, employ critical thinking, apply the benefits of practical experience, and reflect on past actions in the practice of their profession. The guiding principles in this Interpreter Handbook represent the concepts of confidentiality, linguistic and professional competence, impartiality, professional growth and development, ethical business practices, and the rights of all participants in interpreted situations to informed choice (hearing & Deaf). The driving force behind the guiding principles is the notion that the interpreter will do no harm (RID, 2013).

When applying these principles to their conduct, interpreters remember that their choices are governed by a "reasonable interpreter" standard. This standard represents the hypothetical interpreter who is appropriately educated, informed, capable, aware of professional standards, and fair-minded (RID, 2013).

It is the responsibility of all Non-Academic/Non-Classified employees/interpreters to be familiar with the guidelines in this GCCCD Interpreter Handbook and to adhere to these guidelines. Questions or requests for clarification are welcome.

Last Updated: 07/18/2018
  • Grossmont
  • Cuyamaca
A Member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District