From the Director’s Desk

by Michele Martinez-Saeva



img_1602-screenHello my name is Michele Martinez-Saeva, I am the new Director of Testing for the Center for Assessment of Sign Language Interpretation, CASLI.

I graduated from the National Technical Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. I have been a professional interpreter for over 15 years, working as a community interpreter and a coordinator for interpreting services. As a community interpreter, I enjoyed working in various settings such as legal, K-12 and post-secondary, video relay service, and medical.

In 2006, I took a full time position with a video relay service.   I truly enjoyed working as a video interpreter, being able to meet so many Deaf people from across the United States in one day was amazing. Within one year, I was offered a trainer position with the company. This was one of the best opportunities of my career thus far. As a trainer, I had the opportunity to develop new skills as a trainer, mentor, and diagnostician. I also spent a significant amount of time working with interpreters for certification preparation. This role allowed me to meet and work with colleagues nationwide.

It was during my time as a trainer I realized I wanted to learn more about the philosophy of teaching, training adult learners, and different teaching methodologies to help hone my skills. I decided to continuing my education in graduate school at Empire State College in New York. Graduate school brought new challenges, forcing me to apply my skills and experiences in different ways on different topics. I also had the opportunity to learn about testing, analyzing the reliability and validity of tests, and how to develop different evaluations, which helped prepare me for this position.

I also spent two years working in different industries in their training departments. One position was for an international business process outsourcing company where I was the North American Training Manager and the other was a payroll company based out of Rochester, New York, where I was an Instructional Designer. These two years were an eye-opening experience that broadened my understanding of what training and testing meant in different applications. I was able to see how different industries managed training and education.

When I saw the position for the Director of Testing for CASLI available, I felt immediately that it was a perfect complement to my years of experiences and education. I did consider the current state that RID is in with certification but I felt it was the right time for me to get involved and be a part of the solution. I was thrilled when I was offered the position, yet I quickly realized the impact it would have on my family. Nevertheless, with my family’s support, we began our new adventure three weeks ago.

But, enough about me!  I have some exciting news to share. Beginning October 1st, CASLI will have 63 testing centers available to schedule the NIC Performance Exam. Throughout this process we have been working with Comira to ensure the process is handled efficiently. We have an aggressive goal to continue adding test sites as well. Our immediate goal is to have 75 test sites ready by November 1, 2016 and ultimately 150 by 2019. We realize this is slightly later than originally intended. Unfortunately, we have had some uncontrollable delays due to computer programming needs to ensure a fully operable process, contract negotiations, and scheduling with our gracious volunteer interpreters during the pilot testing of the system. However, I can tell you that Comira, RID, and CASLI have worked diligently to ensure the testing system is ready. We understand how important certification is to our members, which is why we needed to make sure we did our due diligence.

Comira will be the vendor for our NIC Performance Exam. Castle Worldwide will remain our Knowledge Exam test vendor, however our contract will soon expire with Castle. At that time, we will reassess our options for test vendors. We will consider member satisfaction and input from our board and committee members. More information will be shared as time draws near.

Finally, President Walker will soon announce the final two members of the CASLI Board of Managers. We are also thrilled to announce that CASLI is now fully staffed and our Testing Committee has already started their discussions.

Thank you for your time, if you have any questions, please contact me at I look forward to working with you.