Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) Exam

About CDI Certification

Holders of this certification are deaf or hard of hearing and have demonstrated knowledge and understanding of interpreting,  deafness, the Deaf community, and Deaf culture. Holders have specialized training and/or experience in the use of gesture, mime, props, drawings and other tools to enhance communication. Holders possess native or near-native fluency in American Sign Language and are recommended for a broad range of assignments where an interpreter who is deaf or hard-of-hearing would be beneficial.

The CDI certification process begins with a multiple-choice CDI Knowledge Exam. Candidates are eligible for the CDI Knowledge Exam if they meet CASLI’s 40 hour training requirement. Candidates who have passed the knowledge exam within 5 years may then apply for the CDI Bridge Plan.

CDI Checklist

  • Review all pertinent CDI webpages on the CASLI website
  • Submit audiogram showing a hearing loss of 60db or more one or both ears.
  • Submit proof of meeting the 40 hour training requirement to CASLI
  • Apply for the CDI Knowledge Exam
  • Pass the CDI Knowledge Exam
  • Submit proof of meeting the educational requirement to RID
  • Apply for the RID CDI Bridge Plan (once available)

CDI Candidate Process PDF

CDI Knowledge Exam Eligibility Requirement

*Applicants must show eligibility by meeting all of the requirements below. 

Submit an audiogram showing a hearing loss of 60db or more in one or both ears. The audiogram does not need to be recent. The audiogram must contain the name of the applicant, the name of the audiologist/office that conducted the testing, and must show documentation of hearing status.

Submitting 40 Hours/4.0 CEUs of Interpreter Training: This training is specific to the ASL-English Interpreting field. 40 or more hours of prerequisite training must include, at minimum:

  • 8 hours/0.8 CEUs required on the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct– Recommended topics include: Ethical Decision Making and Ethics in Interpreting
  • 8 hours/0.8 CEUs required on the Introduction to Interpreting– Recommended topics include: Interpreting 101
  • 8 hours/0.8 CEUs required on the Process of Interpretation– Recommended topics include: The Deaf Interpreter at Work, Deaf/Hearing Team Interpreting, Deaf/Deaf Team Interpreting, Interpreting for Deaf Blind consumers, Deaf Interpreting Processes, Deaf Interpreting Theory and Practice, Consecutive Interpreting, Simultaneous Interpreting, Sight/Test Translation, Visual Gestural Communication, and Platform Interpreting
  • 16 hours/1.6 CEUs required on the elective(s) of your choice– Recommended topics include: ASL Linguistics, Mentorship Programs, and Interpreting Practicum, Additional training in any of the required content areas above

Documentation Required:  Documentation must indicate:

  • Name of attendee (your name),
  • Date(s) of training,
  • Location(s) of training,
  • Duration of training,
  • Name and signature by trainer or facilitator, and
  • If so requested: a description of the workshop, including educational objectives and/or syllabus of the academic course

All documentation, except for college transcripts, must be recent, as in having been completed within the past five years. Any documentation that does not contain the required information will not be considered.  Applicants must send a copy of training documentation to CASLI in the form of official academic transcripts, RID CEU Transcript, letter(s) of verification signed by the person teaching the training session(s), certificate(s)/letter(s) of completion. Please note: For a semester class, the number of CEUs equals 1.5 semester credits (i.e. a 3-credit course = 4.5 CEUs).  For a quarter class, the number of CEUs equals 1 quarter credit (i.e. a 3-credit course = 3 CEUs).

CDI Exam Fees (As of July 1, 2016)

Exam Type  RID Member Non-Member
CDI Knowledge Exam $225 $280
CDI Knowledge Exam Retake $165 $190

 CDI Exam Paper Application

*Candidates can purchase exams through the RID/CASLI Portal for faster processing.

CDI Knowledge Exam Application