Classroom Interpreters - Professional Conduct Guidelines
Legal Requirements for Members of an IEP Team
As specified in the child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP), the educational interpreter is a related service provider who is considered to be a member of the IEP team. As a member of the team, the educational interpreter has the following responsibilities:
- Understand the student’s IEP − The educational interpreter should understand the student’s strengths and both short and long term goals. Based on discussions with the educational team, the educational interpreter should accommodate interpreting services to the developmental level and needs of the student.
- Make decisions in the context of the educational team − All decisions regarding a student’s program should be discussed with the educational team. For example, the educational team makes decisions about the type of sign language used with a particular student.
- Understand parents’ rights to participate in decision-making − Parents are members of the child’s educational team and should be included in all decision-making. They are required to be informed about and invited to meetings.
- Understand the family’s right to confidentiality − Families have the right to confidentiality regarding any information that may allow people to identify any family member. Educational interpreters can discuss the student with members of the educational team, which includes the parents. They may not discuss a student or a student’s family with anyone outside this team, unless the team approves.
Often a student with a hearing loss is easily identifiable by simple facts, such as his/her grade, or which teacher he/she has. Educational Interpreters should be careful discussing a situation even when a student’s name is not used. The goal is to protect a family’s confidentiality, not simply to avoid using names.
- Understand that parents must approve all IEP-related testing − Parents do not need to approve the routine testing that occurs as a part of the general education curriculum. However, they must approve any special testing that involves the IEP team. For example, if the educational interpreter − with help from the team − wanted to assess the student’s comprehension of interpreted materials, the parents must approve this first. The parents also have a right to see the results of all testing.