How Do I Become an Interpreter or a Captionist?   

The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) web page ( www.rid.org) has an extensive listing of interpreter training programs (ITPs) in the United States and Canada. Scholarships for attending an ITP are not plentiful, however there are some possibilities to research such as the Elizabeth Benson Scholarship Award on the RID web page. Of course, all of the traditional college loans are available to potential students. Check with your college’s Financial Aid office to see what loans or scholarships might be available.

If you want to become a C-Print® captionist, contact Deaf Choice at (513)608-1695. Here is information from Maria Miller about the steps to become a CPrinter :

  •  I strongly advise you to make sure you are typing at least 65wpm or above before you begin training. Everyone who works on my team is a minimum of 65; most are high 80’s and 90’s.
  • You need to complete a test from NTID ( NTID or I can provide this to you) and submit this to Anne Alepoudakis, apanod@ntid.rit.edu and phone 585-475-7557 if you have questions. It’s very helpful to copy me on emails to Anne in the preliminary stages in case she has questions that I need to answer; she will also copy me when she replies to you so everyone is on the same page on the status of your testing.
  • Once you have passed the test (grammar, English, phonetics, and typing) you will be ready to submit payment to NTID to begin online training (pay with a check). At that point I will help you out (they will need proof of c-print software loaded for training so you can take the course and I will supply the serial # and help get software loaded). NTID will allow you to use my software for training purposes only, after which the software must be removed.  
  • After training, I will do a 2-day in-service with you followed by you beginning mentoring with my team until your confidence, skill, and endurance are developed (it’s a lot like going through a practicum in a safe environment).
  • I suggest you maintain training about 2 hours every day until it is completed (It’s a “use it or lose it” system where every segment builds on the previous one. If you don’t keep up/stay on top of it,  you forget the abbreviations you previously learned and you are back to square one doing review).
  • If you are in the skills modules and you happen to fail a quiz it’s not a big deal; you just go back, review, and try again.  The training is all online these days and they will give you an authorization # to begin.
  • Once you are finished training and mentoring you will need to purchase the software from NTID, a pair of laptops, and other equipment to provide captioning services. This is explained in depth during the in-service. This is getting way ahead of the game but the point is you will have some expenses down the road. Because of IRS mandates and a 20-point ruling system to determine if someone is an independent contractor, I am not allowed to provide you with this equipment because you would then fall into the category of an “employee” instead of a contracted, independent captionist.
  • I advise you to seek professional assistance to establish yourself as a business.