Sign Language & Interpreter Services


Educational Interpreters Pose for a group photo.
Interpreters at the 2018 Educational Interpreter Immersion Conference in Ames,  IA.

It isn’t uncommon to be the sole interpreter employed by a school district. These interpreters can benefit from periodic interaction with others in the field. ISD offers opportunities for interpreter observation, evaluation, peer support, resources and assistance with interpreting challenge areas. Most services are provided to Educational Interpreters in Iowa free of charge.

Resources for Interpreters

Iowa residents or staff register here for the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment. Iowa interpreters may test in any state that is part of TASK12. The complete testing schedule for all TASK12 states is available here.

Iowa and nearby state EIPA Testing Dates for 2020-21 are:

Date Location
October 17-18, 2020 Council Bluffs, IA
November 7-8, 2020 Olathe, KS
March 13-14, 2021 Bettendorf, IA
April 10-11, 2021 Olathe, KS

Professional Development Information for Interpreters

Educational Interpreter Professional Development  contact:
Deb Cates, Ph.D., Sign Language Program Coordinator


Conceptual diagram written on black chalkboard blackboard
Let ISD help you evaluate the signing skills of your staff.

Iowa School for the Deaf offers assistance to school districts employing educational sign language interpreters. It can be challenging for supervisors who do not have backgrounds in sign language to effectively evaluate and provide feedback to interpreters. Licensed interpreters will travel to schools, observe interpreters and other staff using sign language to communicate with students. ISD staff can also administer the Sign Language Proficiency Interview (a national standardized assessment) to your school staff and help determine areas of strengths, challenges, and identify strategies to develop weaker areas. There is no charge for the service.

Sign Language Proficiency contact:
Deb Cates, Ph.D., Sign Language Program Coordinator


Internet classes are available at various levels for parents of deaf or hard-of-hearing children as well as school staff who interact with children who use sign language. If you are the parent of a deaf or hard-of-hearing child, or if you are a school staff member working with deaf or hard-of-hearing children, contact Brent Welsch, Sign Language Instructor for the most current schedule of classes. Requests for on-site classes for groups of school staff will be considered case-by-case. No charge.

ISD currently does not offer publicly accessible sign language classes.

Signwise for Kids


Need a video on basic signing at home? Need to study before an interpreting exam? Want to read a book about Deaf Culture or take a workshop? Iowa School for the Deaf has a library of materials on a variety of subjects to enhance interaction with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Anyone may check out the materials, which are sent to the requester through the mail. Materials can be checked out for three weeks.

To view the list of materials available for electronic check-out, please visit our Electronic Video Log. If you want to check out any of these videos, please use the Materials Request Form.

To view the hard copy materials currently available (sent via USPS), please visit our Online Catalog. Click on the Resource Center link for access. New materials are being added all the time. Use the Search function to find materials you would like to check out. Click on Add to this List. When you have selected the materials you would like, click on the Resource Lists tab on the left side of the screen. Click on View next to My List. Copy this information into the Materials Request Form.


Contact Information for Iowa-based interpreters
Public List of Sign Language Interpreters working in Iowa.

Iowa Board of Sign Language Interpreters and Transliterators
The Iowa Department of Public Health, Bureau of Professional Licensure has licensing authority for all sign language interpreters and transliterators.

Bureau of Professional License – Online Interpreter Public License Search
You can search for an interpreter’s license to see if it is active, inactive or temporary.

Iowa State Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (ISRID)
Professional organization for Sign Language Interpreters in Iowa.


Iowa School for the Deaf
3501 Harry Langdon Blvd.
Council Bluffs, IA 51503

PH: 712.366.0571