Archive for November, 2023

Our hearts are with Maine

This update is shared with permission from a message posted to the NCIHC listserv by Malvina Gregory, Director – Interpreter & Cross Cultural Services at MaineHealth:

You may have heard how Maine’s Deaf community has been shaken by the recent Lewiston, ME shootings. There was a group of Deaf community members who were participating in a cornhole tournament at one of the bars where the shootings occurred and many were injured. Four members of the Deaf community were killed: Billy Brackett, Brian McFarlane, Steve Vozzella, and Joshua Seal.

Joshua Seal was a prominent Deaf Interpreter and the Director of Pine Tree Society, one of Maine’s ASL Interpreting providers. He was a strong advocate for language access, both in his professional role as well as in his free time. During the pandemic, Josh served as the primary interpreter for the CDC and partnering with Dr. Nirav Shah to provide regular news updates, earning him praise and national recognition for his skill and unflappably professional interpretations. He was active and well known in his Deaf community, serving as a member of Maine Medical Center’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Patient & Family Advisory Committee more importantly mentoring many youth as the founder of Pine Tree Camp Dirigo Experience, a summer camp for deaf children. Josh is survived by his wife and four young children. He meant so much to so many, and we will feel his loss for a long time. Maine’s interpreting community is in deep mourning, having lost not only many of our patients and friends, but also one of our best and brightest.

People have asked what they can do to help. Here are a few ways:

  • If you are an ASL interpreter in the Northeastern part of the USA, you can sign up to assist with interpretation needs that are arising as a result of the shootings. There are paid and volunteer opportunities. Three companies (Pine Tree Society, Mary Jane Grant Interpreting, and Partners Interpreting) have joined together to create a website to coordinate the many interpreting needs: news interviews, counseling sessions, relief shifts to cover for mourning interpreters, and more. Sign up hereàMaine Deaf Community (
  • Contribute to one of the GoFundMes established to support the victims’ families. Maine Association of the Deaf’s website lists the current fundraisers: Contribute – Maine Association of the Deaf (

Update to CCHI’s Eligibility Requirement of Language Proficiency in the Language Other Than English (LOTE)

The Commissioners have updated CCHI’s eligibility requirement related to language proficiency in the Language Other Than English (LOTE) based on the results of the national survey “Language Proficiency for Interpreters (LPI)” conducted by CCHI in the fall of 2022. The changes take effect on November 15, 2023, i.e., all applicants whose applications have not been accepted by November 15, must comply with the new requirements. There are no changes to the requirements related to language proficiency in English.

The essence of the language proficiency eligibility requirement has not changed, i.e., all applicants must demonstrate that they are proficient in a LOTE. However, the Commissioners have more clearly defined the scope of accepted documentation verifying language proficiency in the LOTE, based on the national survey results.  CCHI plans to conduct surveys on LPI regularly and update its eligibility requirements as needed.

In brief, the updates relate to the following:

  • Applicants for the bilingual CHI™ credentials have different requirements compared to applicants for the CoreCHI™ and CoreCHI-Performance™
  • All languages are divided into three tiers which define the type of language proficiency documentation applicants need to submit. See more information about the Language Tiers at
  • CCHI has established an initial list of language proficiency (LP) testing vendors (see at CCHI is in the process of convening an Advisory Panel that will develop an evaluation process for LP tests and help create a national Registry of Accredited Language Proficiency Tests. Until this Registry is established, CCHI Commissioners approve LP testing vendors at their discretion, applying CCHI’s evaluation criteria.
  • The minimum accepted levels of language proficiency in LOTE are Advanced-Mid on the ACTFL scale and 2+ on the ILR scale (or an equivalent to these levels established for other tests).
  • Applicants who are ASL interpreters have different requirements for the CoreCHI™ and CoreCHI-Performance™ credentials respectively.

Please read the full requirements at The Candidate’s Examination Handbook will be updated shortly.

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