The EIPA – Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment

Dr. Brenda Schick

In 1991, Dr. Brenda Schick and Kevin Williams with the Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska developed the EIPA, the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment, a much-needed tool that defines and assesses skills and knowledge needed for interpreting in educational settings. The role of an interpreter interpreting for children in an educational setting is very different from that of an interpreter working with adults. The EIPA provides valuable feedback for educational interpreters to improve their unique skills and knowledge.

The EIPA Diagnostic Center, located at Boys Town, is committed to making a positive difference in the quality of education for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. As well as administering the EIPA and related products, it offers continuing education for interpreters working in K-12 schools. Information about upcoming EIPA online workshops (December 2021 to April 2022) is available here.

The EIPA consists of a written test and a performance test. Individuals can take both tests, or just one, and neither test is a prerequisite for the other. It is not a certification process (see the separate article on the RID ED:K-12 Certificate moratorium), but a minimum EIPA score is required to work as an educational interpreter in most states. Interpreters must check with their state for requirements as there is no standard score.

The written test is multiple-choice, takes about 1.5 – 3 hours to complete, and is graded as pass/fail with a minimum score of 75% to pass. It is delivered online in test locations across the US with a proctor.

More details on the written test are located here: https://www.boystownhospital.org/professional-education/eipa/exam-evaluation-options/written-test-faq.

The performance test is 2 hours in length with both sign to English and English to sign portions. The individual can choose to be tested using ASL (with some PSE), PSE (with some ASL), or MCE (with some PSE), and opt for interpreting in elementary or secondary classrooms. It is graded by a team of raters, both deaf and hearing, and individuals receive a score out of 5. A score of 4.0 or above is optimal for interpreting in the educational setting.

More information on the Performance Test is available here: https://www.classroominterpreting.org/EIPA/faqs/index.asp.

Check out the Classroom Interpreting website for much more information on educational interpreting and the EIPA.