The Missouri Board of Certification of Interpreters (BCI)
Whether you are Deaf, an interpreter, hiring a sign language interpreter, or just wanting to learn more about sign language interpreters in the State of Missouri, you may often run into information regarding the Missouri Board of Certification of Interpreters.
What is the purpose of the BCI?
In basic terms, the BCI works under the Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. It is responsible for ensuring that sign language interpreter certification standards meet the needs of the community. For example, the BCI decided that Missouri needed a new sign language interpreter test and worked with MCDHH to determine which test would be a good fit. The Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) was selected and implemented.
The BCI also assists with direct interpreter issues and concerns. For example, they sometimes have portions of their meetings closed to address matters of privacy. This could be because a sign language interpreter has a request for equal access accommodations in a BEI testing environment or perhaps a plea from an interpreter who has let their certification lapse and is asking for a restatement.
BCI Involvement with Missouri Skill Level Standards
The BCI keeps the Missouri skill level standards current and may from time to time adjust which level interpreters need to work in specific settings. For example, after the BEI test was established in Missouri the BCI determined that certified interpreters at the Novice and Apprentice levels would no longer be qualified to interpret. The BCI also determined that all working interpreters need to be Basic, Advanced, or Master. As needs change, skill level standards and certification standards can be modified to meet current needs.
BCI Involvement with CEUs
The BCI also addresses questions and updates to Continuing Education Units (CEUs) which sign language interpreters are required to complete on an annual basis. Updates may include what types of CEUs are acceptable and how many units must be earned.
Who is on the Committee?
The Missouri Board of Certification of Interpreters is made up of six (6) members, two (2) certified Interpreters, two (2) Deaf members, one (1) seat for either a Deaf or Certified Interpreter, and a seat for the MCDHH Executive Director. The current BCI members and their biographies can be found on the MCDHH website. You are also able to see the current MCDHH staff members, the commissioners, and the State Committee of Interpreters members. MCDHH also provides you information as to when the next BCI, Commissioners, and SCI meetings will be held.
Who is at BCI meetings?
In attendance, other than the BCI members, is a state provided attorney to ensure that proper protocols and measures are taken when making decisions. The state attorney also provides the BCI legal guidance on any decisions made that may interfere with law.
Where are BCI meetings held?
Most meetings are held in Jefferson City, Missouri at the MCDHH office. Periodically they are held at the annual Missouri Statewide Sign Language Interpreters Conference. All meetings, except closed portions, are open to the public. If you have a topic that you would like to discuss, be sure to contact MCDHH in advance. They can provide you the proper protocols on how to add your topic to the meeting agenda. Meetings are held no less than twice a year. If not already scheduled, then meetings are arranged to ensure all concerns and suggestions sent to MCDHH are addressed in a timely manner.