For CDI Candidates

This is an overview of exam process  and requirements to fulfill for Deaf individuals that are pursuing the Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) Certification.

Certified Deaf Interpreter Exam

Available from 2012 to 2020, was created by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and licensed to CASLI to administer for RID. The CDI-K was a 100 multiple choice question exam administered using a paper booklet with the questions presented in written English, a video library of the questions presented in American Sign Language and all answers are recorded on a paper Scantron sheet filled out with a number 2 pencil. Candidates had the option to use the English booklet, the ASL videos or both during the administration of the exam. This exam is no longer being administered after December 31, 2020.

Generalist Exams

Available in late 2020/early 2021, is a computer-based exam with selected responses consisting of 120 multiple choice questions and eight (8) case studies. Both Deaf and hearing candidates can take this exam.

  • Fundamentals of Interpreting Multiple Choice Questions: Sixty (60) questions are presented in written English and the answer selections for these questions are also in written English. Sixty (60) questions are presented in ASL and the answer selections for these questions are also presented in ASL. Candidates are expected to be able to comprehend all items in both English and ASL. Candidates will not be able to choose a language of preference for any item or items. These questions will assess a candidate’s knowledge of effective practice within the profession.
  • Ethical Decision Making and Cultural Responsiveness Case Studies: Eight (8) cases will be presented in ASL in narrative structure and the candidate will be instructed to select the best option or options from a list presented in written English. These case studies will assess a candidate’s ethical decision-making abilities and their cultural competencies within the framework of their tasks ASL-English Interpreters.

This “gap test” is used as part of the bridge plan to transition from those who have taken and passed the CDI-Knowledge Exam and will be taking the new CASLI Generalist Performance Exam for Deaf Interpreter. CDI Candidates who have successfully passed the CASLI Generalist Knowledge Exam do NOT have to take the “gap test” to be eligible to take the CASLI Generalist Performance Exam for Deaf Interpreters. The gap test has 2 parts:

  • The first part consists of a short modules covering specific KSA between the CDI-Knowledge Exam and the CASLI Generalist Performance Exam. These KSAs include:
    • Mandated reporting laws
    • Use of personal protection equipment that does not hinder communication
    • Working with interpreters who use languages other than ASL or English.
  • The second part is a gap test which is the Ethical Decision Making and Cultural Responsiveness Case Studies exam. This includes eight case studies that will be presented in ASL in narrative structure and the candidate will select the best option or options from a list presented in written English. These case studies will assess a candidate’s ethical decision-making abilities and their cultural competencies within the framework of their tasks ASL-English Interpreters. The gap test is administered at the same time when candidates takes the CASLI Generalist Performance Exam for Deaf Interpreter.

A constructed response exam (meaning the candidate must produce something from a prompt on screen) where the candidate will interpret scenarios that use common vocabulary and may include consecutive or simultaneous interpreting to and from ASL to a specialized sign language system or English; the scenarios involve common community-based interpreting assignments.

Eligibility for the CDI Exams:

For more specific policy on eligibility requirements, see this document.

At the time of this writing, the eligibility requirement to take the Knowledge exam is:

  1. Documentation of 40 hours or 4.0 CEUs of interpreter training as outlined here. That documentation may be uploaded within the RID member portal or sent to Certification@RID.org.
  2. Submit an audiogram showing a hearing loss of 60db or more in one or both ears to CASLI. 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. Email documentation to Testing@CASLI.org.

PASSING RESULTS: If the candidate passes the knowledge exam, they must submit eligibility requirements to apply, pay for and schedule their performance exam. *Note: The testing cycle timeline starts from when a candidate successfully passes their knowledge exam and is five (5) years.

FAILING RESULTS: If the candidate fails the knowledge exam, they will become eligible to retake the knowledge in three months from the date they took their knowledge exam. If a candidate passes one portion of the knowledge exam and fails the other, they only need to retake the portion they failed.

At the time of this writing, the eligibility requirement to take the Performance Exam Deaf interpreters is:

  1. Pass the Knowledge exam.
  2. Submit verification of educational requirements or equivalent to Certification@RID.org
  3. Create a CASLI Exam System account (if you do not already have one)
  4. Complete the learning module as part of of the Bridge Plan.
  5. Complete Exam Request form for the CASLI Generalist Performance Exam for Deaf Interpreters and GAP test.  ** Note: Candidates that pass the CASLI Generalist Knowledge Exam do not need to take the GAP test.
  6. Pay for and then schedule to take the exam appointment.

PASSING RESULTS: If the candidate passes the performance exam, CASLI will send their exam results to RID’s Certification Department. 

FAILING RESULTS: If the candidate does NOT pass the performance exam, they will become eligible to retake the exam in six months from the date they took their performance exam. *Note: The testing cycle timeline starts from when a candidate successfully passes their knowledge exam and is five (5) years.