WSR 13-21-129
(Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing)
[Filed October 22, 2013, 2:26 p.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Formally establishing standards for sign language interpreters to interpret in legal proceedings in chapter 388-818 WAC, with a new subsection starting as WAC 388-818-0500, et seq.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 2.42.130 and 2.42.170.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: RCW 2.42.130 states that the office of the deaf and hard of hearing (ODHH) shall maintain a list of sign language interpreters for use in legal proceedings. RCW 2.42.170 clarifies that fees shall be in accordance with standards established by ODHH. With these standards clarified as rules, courts will have more consistent, higher-quality sign language interpreting services by interpreters who have met minimum requirements and standards.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), under the auspices of the Board of Judicial Administration and the Court Interpreter Commission, establishes statewide policies and procedures for the provision of court interpreter services in Washington courts. ODHH has worked closely with the AOC on developing these standards being proposed as rules and continues to partner with AOC staff in refining the standards, the WAC language, and has expressed an interest in monitoring interpreter compliance with AOC certification rules as may be later identified for sign language interpreters.
Process for Developing New Rule: DSHS welcomes the public to take part in developing the rules. Anyone interested should contact the staff person identified below. At a later date, DSHS will file a proposal with the office of the code reviser with a notice of proposed rule making. A copy of the proposal will be posted on the ODHH web site ( and will be mailed to anyone who requests a copy.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Robert Lichtenberg, Assistant Director, ODHH, Berle Ross, Sign language Interpreter Management, Program Manager, P.O. Box 43501 [45301], Olympia, WA 98504-5301, phone (360) 339-7382 (VP), TTY (360) 902-0271, fax (360) 902-0855, e-mail or
October 22, 2013
Katherine I. Vasquez
Rules Coordinator