Opening Slide Image Description: CASLI logo on white background. Text: Star G. Grieser, Director of Testing, CASLI Updates July 31, 2020.

Image Description: White woman with long brown hair tied back in a bun and plain black shirt is sitting on a tan couch. Blue abstract butterfly artwork and white metal decorations hang on the wall behind her. 

Hi, my name is Star Grieser and I am the director of testing here at CASLI, the Center for the Assessment of Sign Language Interpretation. It’s the end of July and almost August. Our testing coordinator, Sean Furman and I have been working and continue to work hard on recruiting test sites, work with candidates, and continue our developing the new exams and getting those ready for release. This vlog is to provide some updates on what we’ve been doing. We’re working with LTAs and candidates who are signing up for their test appointments to get them ready to take their exams.

For the CDI-Knowledge exam, we’ve had several candidates contact us inquiring about available LTAs. It’s best for those candidates to contact us directly to try to locate an LTA, if any are available for them, to administer their exams. The NIC-Knowledge exam is administered by a contracted test delivery company, ScanTron, and they are also experience test site closures and limited exam appointments, as well. The NIC Interview and Performance exam continues to be administered through our CASLI exam system and network of LTAs.

We are aware that because of the limited number of LTAs administering exams, that candidates are traveling – perhaps out of state – for their NIC IP exams. We are also cognizant of the rising number of COVID-19 cases nationally. The Center for Disease Control has on their website resources regarding travel, and regarding each state’s policy regarding nonessential travel. Many have travel restrictions, many are mandating a 14-day self-quarantine following out of state travel. We urge our LTAs and candidates to follow those policies – follow best practices for the prevention of contracting or spreading COVID-19. These include using masks, practicing social distancing, handwashing. Our LTAs are advised to sterilize test sites between candidates and practice social distancing. Please continue to follows these guidelines. And please research these before you opt to travel out of state. We don’t want anyone getting sick or inadvertently spreading COVID-19 for their tests. If test sites are limited because of COVID-19, then is best to wait until is safe to travel again.

Several candidates have contacted us regarding their Testing Process Cycle (TPC). That’s the (normally) five-year timeline that a candidate has between passing their knowledge exam to pass their performance exam in order to be eligible for RID certification. We announced last year that and any time during the transition between test delivery platforms from out previous test delivery company, PSI t CASLI Exam System, during which a candidate in their TPC who was eligible to test but could not due to the transition and limited number of test sites would be added to their testing process cycle. At the time of the announcement, of course, we never predicted COVID-19. Right now it’s been more that one year since the transition began and now we’re experiencing delays due to COVID-19, with no ability to predict when we will be fully operational again. We’ve discuss with the Board of Managers of CASLI and agreed to capping the added time of eligibility to a candidate’s TPC to one year from when we “open” the CASLI testing system – when we have 50 open and operational test sites nationally. At that time, the clock will start again on our candidates TPC.

SO that’s what happening with that, now with exam development. We’re still working on the new CASLI Generalist Knowledge Exam and Performance Exam for Deaf Interpreters. The development of the new Performance Exam for Hearing Interpreters is on hold due to not being able to travel or gather for filming. We had planned to film the performance exam for hearing interpreters back in March, but postponed due to COVID-19. We have to wait until it’s safer to travel and gather to work together before we can plan that. We’re just keeping an eye on the news and the situation with COVID and making decisions as we get information.

The CASLI Generalist Knowledge exam is now in the alpha phase (which is not the same as beta testing ***not in the video – beta testing occurs with actual certification exam candidates and is administered at test sites, and it’s period where we collect completed exams and assemble a committee for determining the passing score of the exam***  where we work with interpreters to provide us with feedback on the exam for their exam experience before we release for beta testing. Release of the new exams involves a lot of “moving parts” – updating our website, developing the list of resources for candidates, the sample practice exams, updating policies and procedures, getting candidates prepared to take the exams on CASLI Exam System for administration. And administration of the exam may be limited due to the limited number of test sites available to administer the exam, prolonging the beta period. COVID-19 has a lot of impact on all these “moving parts” that Sean and I are working on to get these exams ready for all of you.

The Deaf Interpreter Performance Exam is still in progress but nearing completion. With this, we also have to develop the “gap test” – the test candidates who have taken and passed the current CDI-Knowledge exam that’s currently administered (not the new CASLI Generalist Knowledge Exam) must take to satisfy all KSA (knowledge, skills, and abilities) between the iterations of the current CDI-Knowledge and the new CASLI Generalist Performance Exam. Those are the moving parts for that – plus getting all of it on the new CASLI Exam System and ready to administer.

As I mentioned before, the filming for the Performance Exam for Hearing Interpreters has been postponed several times and right now we cannot predict when it will be safe to travel and gather for the filming of that exam. We just have to see what happens with this COVID-19 situation.

So that’s what we’ve been working on so far! Any time you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us any time. My email is Director@CASLI.org and Sean’s email is Testing@CASLI.org. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us – we’d love to connect with you. Have a wonderful rest of the summer and beyond! Thank you!

Slide 2 Image Description: CASLI logo on white background. Star Grieser, Director of Testing: Director@casli.org. VP/VRS: 703-988-4543. FaceTime: SGrieser@CASLI.org. CASLI.org.

Slide 3 Image Description: CASLI logo on white background. Sean Furman, Testing Coordinator. Testing@casli.org. VP/VRS: 571-257-4761. CASLI.org.