LRB-2654/2
KP:kjf/wlj/amn
2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
May 30, 2019 - Introduced by Representatives Skowronski, Brostoff, Thiesfeldt,
Dittrich, Anderson, Bowen, Brandtjen, Cabrera, Emerson, Hebl, Hintz,
Kolste, Kulp, Loudenbeck, Ramthun, Sargent, Snyder, Spiros, Spreitzer,
Steffen, Subeck, Tittl, Tusler, Vining, Vruwink and Neubauer,
cosponsored by Senators Testin, Johnson, Carpenter and L. Taylor. Referred
to Committee on Workforce Development.
AB250,1,8 1An Act to repeal 15.407 (9), 440.032 (1) (b), 440.032 (2) (b) 1., 440.032 (3) (a),
2440.032 (3) (b) 3. and 440.032 (6); to amend 440.032 (3) (b) (title), 440.032 (3)
3(b) 1. b., 440.032 (3) (b) 2. (intro.) and 440.032 (5); to repeal and recreate
4440.032 (2) (c) and 440.032 (7) (b); and to create 440.032 (1) (am), 440.032 (1)
5(bm), 440.032 (3) (c), 440.032 (3) (d), 440.032 (3) (e), 440.032 (3) (f), 440.032 (4m),
6440.032 (5m) and 440.032 (6m) of the statutes; relating to: examinations and
7licensure of sign language interpreters, providing an exemption from
8emergency rule procedures, and granting rule-making authority.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill makes all of the following changes to the laws regulating sign language
interpreters:
1. Replaces the current program for renewable sign language interpreter
licenses granted by the Department of Safety and Professional Services with new
categories of sign language interpreter licenses. Under the bill, DSPS grants the
following licenses:
a. Sign language interpreter—intermediate hearing. DSPS must license an
individual as a sign language interpreter—intermediate hearing if, among other
requirements, the individual has received at least a bachelor's degree from an

accredited college or university or an equivalent degree; the individual has
successfully completed an interpreter training program; and the individual has
passed the basic performance examination administered by the Board for Evaluation
of Interpreters (BEI) and is certified by BEI or has passed an examination DSPS
determines is substantially equivalent to the BEI basic performance examination.
The bill includes alternative paths to licensure as a sign language
interpreter—intermediate hearing.
b. Sign language interpreter—advanced hearing. DSPS must license an
individual as a sign language interpreter—advanced hearing if, among other
requirements, the individual has received at least a bachelor's degree from an
accredited college or university or an equivalent degree; the individual has
successfully completed an interpreter training program; and the individual has
passed the advanced or master performance examination administered by BEI and
is certified by BEI, has passed the examination for and holds the national interpreter
certification issued by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID), or has
passed an exam DSPS determines is substantially equivalent. The bill includes
alternative paths to licensure as a sign language interpreter—advanced hearing.
c. Sign language interpreter—intermediate deaf. DSPS must license an
individual as a sign language interpreter—intermediate deaf if, among other
requirements, the individual holds a high school diploma or its equivalent; the
individual successfully completed at least 40 hours of a sign language interpreter
training curriculum for deaf interpreters; the individual successfully completed at
least 16 hours of sign language interpretation-related training approved by BEI or
RID or substantially equivalent training; and the individual provides to DSPS
letters of recommendation from at least two individuals who hold a sign language
interpreter—advanced deaf license, a certified deaf interpreter certification issued
by RID, or an equivalent certification. Taken in the aggregate, the letters of
recommendation must verify that the individual has successfully completed at least
25 hours of observing the provision of sign language interpretation services provided
to clients.
d. Sign language interpreter—advanced deaf. DSPS must license an
individual as a sign language interpreter—advanced deaf if, among other
requirements, the individual holds at least an associate degree or satisfies an
alternative pathway for education and the individual holds a certified deaf
interpreter certification issued by RID or an equivalent certification, as determined
by DSPS.
2. Requires DSPS to promulgate rules defining the scope of practice of each of
the licenses described above, subject to certain restrictions set forth in the bill.
3. Authorizes DSPS to grant a renewable sign language interpreter license to
an individual who, in addition to satisfying other requirements under current law,
is certified by BEI.
4. Provides that a restricted sign language interpreter license may be renewed
indefinitely. Under current law, the restricted license may be renewed only twice.
The bill makes this change retroactively for an individual holding a valid restricted
license on August 31, 2017.

5. Authorizes DSPS to grant a restricted sign language interpreter license to
an individual who, in addition to satisfying other requirements under current law,
has at least passed the BEI's basic performance examination.
6. Requires DSPS to administer in Wisconsin the BEI's performance
examinations.
5. Eliminates the Sign Language Interpreter Council and establishes the Sign
Language Interpreters Advisory Committee, which advises DSPS and consults with
DSPS concerning investigations related to sign language interpreters.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB250,1 1Section 1. 15.407 (9) of the statutes is repealed.
AB250,2 2Section 2. 440.032 (1) (am) of the statutes is created to read:
AB250,3,43 440.032 (1) (am) “Committee” means the sign language interpreters advisory
4committee established under sub. (6m).
AB250,3 5Section 3. 440.032 (1) (b) of the statutes is repealed.
AB250,4 6Section 4. 440.032 (1) (bm) of the statutes is created to read:
AB250,3,97 440.032 (1) (bm) “Interpreter training program” means any postsecondary
8educational program that prepares individuals to provide sign language
9interpretation services to a client.
AB250,5 10Section 5. 440.032 (2) (b) 1. of the statutes is repealed.
AB250,6 11Section 6. 440.032 (2) (c) of the statutes is repealed and recreated to read:
AB250,3,1412 440.032 (2) (c) 1. The department may grant, on a case-by-case basis, a
13temporary exemption from the licensure requirement under par. (a) to an individual
14applying for a temporary exemption, subject to the following:
AB250,4,215 a. An individual's application for a temporary exemption under this
16subdivision shall be in writing, shall describe the reasons why the individual cannot
17obtain a license under sub. (3) and describe any professional credential the

1individual does possess, and shall specify the dates the individual intends to provide
2sign language interpretation services.
AB250,4,43 b. The department shall approve or deny a temporary exemption under this
4subdivision within 10 business days after receiving the application.
AB250,4,75 2. The department may grant, on a case-by-case basis after receiving advice
6from the committee, a permanent exemption from the licensure requirement under
7par. (a) to an individual applying for a permanent exemption, subject to the following:
AB250,4,108 a. An individual's application for a permanent exemption under this
9subdivision shall describe the reasons why the individual cannot obtain a license
10under sub. (3).
AB250,4,1311 b. If the applicant for a permanent exemption will be providing sign language
12interpretations services to a single client only, the individual's application shall
13identify that client.
AB250,7 14Section 7. 440.032 (3) (a) of the statutes is repealed.
AB250,8 15Section 8. 440.032 (3) (b) (title) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB250,4,1616 440.032 (3) (b) (title) Restricted renewable licenses.
AB250,9 17Section 9. 440.032 (3) (b) 1. b. of the statutes is amended to read:
AB250,4,2318 440.032 (3) (b) 1. b. The applicant is verified by the Wisconsin interpreting and
19transliterating assessment at level 2 or higher in both interpreting and
20transliterating or has passed at least the basic performance examination of the
21Board for Evaluation of Interpreters, or its successor. The department shall
22administer in this state the performance examinations of the Board for Evaluation
23of Interpreters, or its successor
.
AB250,10 24Section 10. 440.032 (3) (b) 2. (intro.) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB250,5,6
1440.032 (3) (b) 2. (intro.) The department shall grant a restricted license as a
2sign language interpreter, authorizing the holder to provide interpretation services
3only under the supervision of an interpreter licensed under par. (a) pars. (c) to (f), to
4an applicant who submits an application on a form provided by the department, pays
5the fee determined by the department under s. 440.03 (9) (a), and submits evidence
6satisfactory to the department of all of the following:
AB250,11 7Section 11. 440.032 (3) (b) 3. of the statutes is repealed.
AB250,12 8Section 12. 440.032 (3) (c) of the statutes is created to read:
AB250,5,139 440.032 (3) (c) Sign language interpreter— intermediate hearing licenses. The
10department shall grant a sign language interpreter—intermediate hearing license
11to an applicant who submits an application on a form provided by the department,
12pays the fee determined by the department under 440.03 (9) (a), and satisfies any of
13the following:
AB250,5,1414 1. The applicant satisfies all of the following:
AB250,5,1715 a. The applicant has received at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited
16college or university, or an equivalent degree, as determined by the department after
17receiving advice from the committee.
AB250,5,1918 b. The applicant provides evidence satisfactory to the department that the
19applicant has successfully completed an interpreter training program.
AB250,5,2320 c. The applicant has passed the basic performance examination of and is
21certified by the Board for Evaluation of Interpreters, or its successor, or the applicant
22has passed a substantially equivalent examination, as determined by the
23department after receiving advice from the committee.
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