ISBE has adopted new rules to support parent participation in IEP meetings by requiring districts to arrange for and fund “qualified interpreters” for parents whose native language is other than English. We have heard concern from many clients that they do not yet have staff who meet the requirements to be a qualified interpreter. This is not surprising given that the rules are brand new and the requirements are extensive. In the meantime (and on ongoing basis if desired), districts can use outside vendors, including telephonic interpreters. The requirements for qualified interpreters are summarized below. For now, districts should focus on meeting the new notice requirements, also spelled out below.
Notice Requirements (23 Ill. Admin. Code 226.530)
In each Notice of Conference and in the district’s annual notice to all parents of children with disabilities, the following must be provided:
- The availability of interpretation services at IEP team meetings;
- An explanation of how parents can request an interpreter;
- Notice that a parent has the right to request that the interpreter serve no other role in the IEP meeting than as an interpreter, and that the district should make reasonable efforts to fulfill this request; and
- A point of contact to address any questions or complaints about interpretation services.