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.
AB250,5,2424 2. The applicant satisfies all of the following:
AB250,6,2
1a. The applicant earned an associate degree in sign language interpretation
2before the effective date of this subd. 2. a. .... [LRB inserts date].
AB250,6,63 b. The applicant has passed the basic performance examination of and is
4certified by the Board for Evaluation of Interpreters, or its successor, or the applicant
5has passed a substantially equivalent examination, as determined by the
6department after receiving advice from the committee.
AB250,6,77 3. The applicant satisfies all of the following:
AB250,6,138 a. Before the effective date of this subd. 3. a. .... [LRB inserts date], the
9applicant passed the basic performance examination of and is certified by the Board
10for Evaluation of Interpreters, or its successor, or before the effective date of this
11subd. 3. a. .... [LRB inserts date], the applicant passed a substantially equivalent
12examination, as determined by the department after receiving advice from the
13committee.
AB250,6,1514 b. The department approves the applicant's licensure after review of all of the
15circumstances and receiving advice from the committee.
AB250,13 16Section 13. 440.032 (3) (d) of the statutes is created to read:
AB250,6,2117 440.032 (3) (d) Sign language interpreter— advanced hearing licenses. The
18department shall grant a sign language interpreter—advanced hearing license to an
19applicant who submits an application on a form provided by the department, pays
20the fee determined by the department under s. 440.03 (9) (a), and satisfies any of the
21following:
AB250,6,2222 1. The applicant satisfies all of the following:
AB250,6,2523 a. The applicant has received at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited
24college or university, or an equivalent degree as determined by the department after
25receiving advice from the committee.
AB250,7,2
1b. The applicant provides evidence satisfactory to the department that the
2applicant has successfully completed an interpreter training program.
AB250,7,83 c. The applicant has passed the advanced or master performance examination
4of and is certified by the Board for Evaluation of Interpreters, or its successor; the
5applicant has passed the examination for and holds the national interpreter
6certification issued by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc., or its successor;
7or the applicant has passed a substantially equivalent examination, as determined
8by the department after receiving advice from the committee.
AB250,7,109 2. The applicant was issued before the effective date of this subdivision .... [LRB
10inserts date], and maintains in good standing any of the following:
AB250,7,1611 a. The national interpreter certification (NIC), advanced or master level
12national interpreter certification (NIC-Advanced or NIC-Master), certificate of
13interpretation (CI), certificate of transliteration (CT), comprehensive skills
14certificate (CSC), master comprehensive skills certificate (MCSC), interpretation
15certificate (IC), or transliteration certificate (TC), issued by the Registry of
16Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc., or its successor.
AB250,7,1717 b. The National Association of the Deaf III, IV, or V certification.
AB250,7,1918 c. The advanced or master certification of the Board for Evaluation of
19Interpreters or its successor.
AB250,14 20Section 14. 440.032 (3) (e) of the statutes is created to read:
AB250,7,2521 440.032 (3) (e) Sign language interpreter— intermediate deaf licenses. The
22department shall grant a sign language interpreter—intermediate deaf license to an
23applicant who submits an application on a form provided by the department, pays
24the fee determined by the department under s. 440.03 (9) (a), and satisfies all of the
25following:
AB250,8,2
11. The applicant holds a high school diploma or its equivalent, as determined
2by the department after receiving advice from the committee.
AB250,8,53 2. The applicant submits evidence satisfactory to the department of the
4applicant's successful completion of at least 40 hours of a deaf interpreter training
5curriculum approved by the department after receiving advice from the committee.
AB250,8,116 3. The applicant submits evidence satisfactory to the department of the
7applicant's successful completion of at least 16 hours of sign language interpretation
8services-related training approved for continuing education credits by the Registry
9of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc., or its successor or the Board for Evaluation of
10Interpreters or its successor, or substantially equivalent training, as determined by
11the department after receiving advice from the committee.
AB250,8,1512 4. The applicant submits evidence satisfactory to the department of the
13applicant's successful completion of American sign language linguistics I and II or
14substantially equivalent coursework, as determined by the department after
15receiving advice from the committee.
AB250,8,2316 5. The applicant provides to the department letters of recommendation
17satisfactory to the department from at least 2 individuals who hold a sign language
18interpreter—advanced deaf license, a certified deaf interpreter certification issued
19by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc., or its successor, or an equivalent
20certification, as determined by the department after receiving advice from the
21committee. Taken in the aggregate, the letters of recommendation shall verify that
22the applicant has successfully completed at least 25 hours of observing sign language
23interpretation services provided to clients.
AB250,15 24Section 15. 440.032 (3) (f) of the statutes is created to read:
AB250,9,5
1440.032 (3) (f) Sign language interpreter—advanced deaf licenses. The
2department shall grant a sign language interpreter—advanced deaf license to an
3applicant who submits an application on a form provided by the department, pays
4the fee determined by the department under s. 440.03 (9) (a), and satisfies all of the
5following:
AB250,9,86 1. The applicant holds at least an associate degree or satisfies an alternate
7pathway for education, as determined by the department after receiving advice from
8the committee.
AB250,9,129 2. The applicant holds a certified deaf interpreter certification issued by the
10Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc., or its successor or an equivalent
11certification, as determined by the department after receiving advice from the
12committee.
AB250,16 13Section 16. 440.032 (4m) of the statutes is created to read:
AB250,9,1614 440.032 (4m) Scope of licenses. The department, after receiving advice from
15the committee, shall promulgate rules defining the scope of practice of each license
16granted under sub. (3), subject to the following:
AB250,9,2217 (a) Sign language interpreter—intermediate hearing. 1. Subject to subd. 2., a
18sign language interpreter—intermediate hearing licensee may not provide sign
19language interpretation services to clients in any medical setting, as determined by
20the department after receiving advice from the committee, unless he or she is team
21interpreting with a sign language interpreter—advanced hearing or sign language
22interpreter—advanced deaf licensee.
AB250,9,2523 2. A sign language interpreter—intermediate hearing licensee may not provide
24sign language interpretation services to a client in any legal or mental health setting,
25as determined by the department after receiving advice from the committee.
AB250,10,7
1(b) Interpretation in legal settings. No sign language interpreter—advanced
2hearing, sign language interpreter—intermediate deaf, or sign language
3interpreter—advanced deaf licensee may provide sign language interpretation
4services to a client in any legal setting, as determined by the department after
5receiving advice from the committee, unless he or she is also authorized, including
6under a provisional status, by the supreme court to act as a qualified interpreter in
7court proceedings under s. 885.38 (2).
AB250,10,118 (c) Interpretation in mental health settings. 1. No sign language
9interpreter—intermediate deaf licensee may provide sign language interpretation
10services to a client in any mental health setting, as determined by the department
11after receiving advice from the committee.
AB250,10,1812 2. Beginning on September 1, 2023, no sign language interpreter—advanced
13hearing or sign language interpreter—advanced deaf licensee may provide sign
14language interpretation services to a client in any mental health setting, as
15determined by the department after receiving advice from the committee, unless the
16licensee satisfies requirements established by the department by rule. The rules
17promulgated under this subdivision shall require a licensee to satisfy all of the
18following:
AB250,10,2019 a. Complete 40 hours of training on providing interpretation services to a client
20in mental health settings.
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