Sign Language Interpreters - State-By-State Directories

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Sign Language Interpreter. Hannah Johnston / Getty Images

Sometimes there is a need to hire a qualified sign language interpreter. One way to find them is by consulting state vocational rehabilitation offices or departments/commissions for the deaf and hard of hearing.

In addition, some states have legislation requiring the maintenance of a list of qualified interpreters and interpreting service agencies. More states, in an effort to upgrade interpreter quality, are implementing or upgrading certification requirements.

Some states require licensed interpreters to register with the state.

Below is a list of state-maintained interpreter lists, databases, and referral pages, as well as other useful resources. Every state in the United States is represented on this list.

These links are often changed. If a link is broken, please bring it to my attention.

Alabama -- The Alabama Licensure Board for Interpreters and Transliterators has lists of licensed, permitted, educational, and provisional interpreters.

Alaska -- Access Alaska has an interpreter referral service.

Arizona -- The Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has a list of licensed interpreters. Go to the home page, and look for the list.

Arkansas -- The Arkansas Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing has interpreter services.

California -- The California Business Leadership Network has referrals of interpreting agencies. In addition, California's Deaf Access Program has eight service providers who provide interpreter referral services.

Colorado -- The Colorado Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf may be a useful resource.

Connecticut -- The Connecticut Commission on the Hearing impaired has an interpreter request form.

Delaware -- Delaware's Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing website states that it "provides information and resources" for finding interpreters.

District of Columbia -- Several interpreting agencies are listed in my article on the Washington, DC area deaf community.

Florida -- The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind has a page that lists deaf service centers throughout Florida. These deaf service centers provide interpreting services.

Georgia -- The Georgia Council for the Hearing Impaired has interpreter referral services.

Hawaii -- The Hawaii Interpreting Services is a privately owned organization that took over the responsibility of providing interpreting services when the Hawaii Services on Deafness closed down.

Idaho -- The Idaho Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has a directory of Idaho interpreters.

Illinois -- The Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission has a directory of interpreters and a list of interpreter referral services.

Indiana -- Indiana's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services has a listing of certified interpreters.​

Iowa -- The Iowa Bureau of Professional Licensure has a downloadable database of licensed sign language interpreters.

On the page, look for "Public List of Active Licensees by Profession" and click on the link to the database. Select "sign language interpreter" and "translator" from the list of professions.

Kansas -- The Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has interpreter referral services.

Kentucky - The Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has an interpreter directory.

Louisiana -- The Louisiana Commission for the Deaf has a registry of certified interpreters.

Maine -- The Maine Division of Deafness has a listing of legal interpreters and interpreting service agencies.

Maryland -- The Maryland Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has a list of interpreter services. Most are in Maryland, and a few are in Washington, DC and northern Virginia.

Massachusetts -- The Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has an interpreter request form.

Michigan -- The Michigan Division on Deaf and Hard of Hearing publishes an interpreter directory.

Minnesota -- Minnesota's Department of Human Services has a listing of interpreting service agencies.

Mississippi -- The Mississippi Office on Deaf and Hard of Hearing has a listing of deaf service agencies that offer interpreter referral.

Missouri -- The Missouri Division of Professional Registration has a searchable database. Look for "sign language interpreter" in the drop-down list under "profession name."

Montana -- One resource is the Montana Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

Nebraska -- Nebraska's Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has an interpreter referral service.

Nevada -- Nevada's Aging and Disability Services has Deaf Resource Centers in Sparks, Las Vegas, and rural areas. New Hampshire -- New Hampshire has a directory of interpreters.

New Jersey -- New Jersey has an interpreter referral service and also maintains a listing of sign language interpreters. On the homepage, click "Locate a Sign Language Interpreter" to download a PDF with the listing.

New Mexico -- The New Mexico Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons has an interpreter referral service.

New York -- New York's Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities has a listing of interpreter referral services and agencies.

North Carolina -- The North Carolina DHS Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has an interpreter directory that includes separate lists of interpreter service agencies and referral agencies.

North Dakota -- The North Dakota School for the Deaf offers an interpreter referral service.

Ohio -- Ohio area community centers for the deaf offer interpreting services.

Oklahoma -- The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services has a listing of certified interpreters in Oklahoma, plus a second list of educational interpreters. In addition, Sign Language Resource Services, Inc. is an interpreting service agency that serves the entire state of Oklahoma.

Oregon -- Request an interpreter through the Oregon Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services' interpreter request forms.

Pennsylvania -- The Pennsylvania Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing has an interpreter database.

Rhode Island -- The Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has an interpreter referral service.

South Carolina -- The South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind offers interpreting services.

South Dakota -- South Dakota's Division of Rehabilitation Services, Deaf Services program has an intepreter registry.

Tennessee -- The Tennessee Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has interpreter services.

Texas -- The Texas Board for Evaluation of Interpreters has a database.

Utah -- Utah has the Utah Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and it can be assumed that interpreter referral is one of the services available. In addition, the Utah Association of the Deaf has a listing of interpreting service agencies in Utah.

Vermont -- Vermont Interpreter Referral Service is funded by the state department of vocational rehabilitation.

Virginia -- Virginia's Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has an interpreter directory.

Washington -- Washington State's Department of Social and Health Services has a listing of interpreters.

West Virginia -- The West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has a listing of interpreters.

Wisconsin -- The Wisconsin Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has a directory of freelance interpreters.

Wyoming -- The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services provides interpreter referral services.

Another option is to consult the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf database. However, not all interpreters are RID members or certified by RID.

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