The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 USC 12101 et seq., ADA Amendments Act of 2008
(ADAAA), Public Law 110-325, and regulations pursuant to the ADA, 28 CFR Parts 35, 36 (2016), provide
protections for individuals who have a communication disability. The ADA requires that state and local governments,
businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public, to communicate effectively with deaf, deafblind, and
hard of hearing persons. Entities that are required to provide effective communication must provide auxiliary aids and
services when needed to provide effective communication, unless doing so would result in an undue burden on the
entity. Auxiliary aids and services may include an interpreter depending on the situation and the desire of the person
needing the services. This state legislature has made the determination in the Deaf Persons’ Interpreters Act (Act),
1982 PA 204, that if an interpreter is required as an accommodation under this state’s law or federal law, and for other
various circumstances listed in the Act, then the interpreter shall be a qualified interpreter. Section 2 of the Act, MCL
393.502, defines a qualified interpreter as a person who is certified through the National Registry of Interpreters for
the Deaf or certified by this state. The existing Qualified Interpreter – General Rules regulate the minimum credential
requirements and levels, standards of practice, continuing education (CE), and the procedures for application,
certification, listing, testing, grievances, complaints, revocation, suspension, limitations on certifications,
reinstatement, and renewal.
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) Code of Professional
Conduct includes seven tenents, with guiding principles and illustrative behavior for professional behavior for
interpreters. The code is adopted by reference in the administrative rules.
Video Relay Service (VRS) is a form of telecommunications that enables persons with hearing loss who use American
Sign Language (ASL) to communicate with a person on the telephone through video equipment. VRS is regulated by
the Federal Communications Commission and, therefore, is not regulated in the proposed rules.
The Michigan Supreme Court Administrative Order No. 2015-5, dated September 16, 2015, requires all courts to
implement procedures in compliance with the ADA, ADAAA, and the Act. On March 3, 2016, the State Court
Administrative Office issued a memorandum stating that effective July 7, 2016, qualified interpreters who work in
legal settings must meet the Act and Qualified Interpreter-General Rules. The memorandum further states that a court
shall not provide an interpreter without the proper credentials unless it can establish that it was the most effective
communication accommodation available in the particular circumstances.
Each state establishes its own requirements with respect to the precertification education, minimum credentials,
testing, certification, certification renewal, recertification, CE, waivers and exceptions, and discipline for interpreters.
A. Are these rules required by state law or federal mandate?
Yes, section 8a of the Act, MCL 393.508a, requires the Division of Deaf, Deaf Blind and Hard of Hearing within the
Department of Civil Rights, now the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (Department), with the advice
of the Department of Education, to promulgate rules that govern procedures for application, testing, revocation,
suspension, limitation of certification, CE, renewals, grievances, minimum credential requirements and levels, and
minimum standards of practice.
The following provisions allow for rulemaking: MCL 445.2001, MCL 445.2011, MCL 445.2030, MCL 445.2035, and
B. If these rules exceed a federal standard, please identify the federal standard or citation, describe why it is
necessary that the proposed rules exceed the federal standard or law, and specify the costs and benefits arising out
of the deviation.
The rules do not exceed a federal standard as the ADA does not regulate the certification of interpreters.
2. Compare the proposed rules to standards in similarly situated states, based on geographic location, topography,
natural resources, commonalities, or economic similarities.