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CDI Certification

CDI (Certified Deaf Interpreter) Certification 

The Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) is a nationally certified interpreter who is deaf or hard of hearing. In addition to proficient communication skills and general interpreter training, the CDI has specialized training and/or experience in the use of gesture, mime, props, drawings and other tools to enhance communication. The CDI has knowledge and understanding of deafness, the Deaf community, and Deaf culture. The CDI possesses native or near-native fluency in American Sign Language.

Holders of this certificate are recommended for a broad range of assignments where an interpreter who is deaf or hard-of-hearing would be beneficial.This exam has been available since 1998.

CDI Candidate Handbook 

Anyone who wishes to seek CDI certification should first read the entire CDI Candidate Handbook to ensure a complete understanding of the certification process.

CDI Exam Eligibility Requirements: 

RID reserves the right to modify the eligibility criteria of all RID examinations.

CDI Knowledge Examination:
Applicants for the CDI Knowledge Exam must provide all appropriate documentation satisfying eligibility.  Candidates are not considered registered until all eligibility documentation and fees have been processed by the RID Certification Department.

Submitting Proof of Eligibility
The CDI examinations were designed to evaluate deaf interpreters.
Documentation Required: Official letter from a physician or audiologist.
Submitting 40 Hours/4.0 CEUs of Interpreter Training
  1. 8 hours/0.8 CEUs required on the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct - Recommended topics include: Ethical Decision Making and Ethics in Interpreting
  2. 8 hours/0.8 CEUs required on the Introduction to InterpretingRecommended topics include: Interpreting 101
  3. 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 
  4. 16 hours/1.6 CEUs required on the elective(s) of your choiceRecommended topics include: ASL Linguistics, Mentorship Programs, and Interpreting Practicum, Additional training in any of the required content areas above

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). 
Documentation Required:  Documentation must indicate date(s), location(s), and duration of training. (Applicant must send a copy of training documentation to RID Headquarters 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.
*Processing of eligibility documentation can take up to two (2) weeks after RID has received both payment and documentation.  Additionally, check payments can extend the process by up to two weeks.  
CDI Performance Examination:
Applicants for the CDI Performance Exam must meet both the knowledge requirement and the educational requirement. Candidates are not considered registered until all eligibility documentations and fees have been processed by the RID Certification Department.

Knowledge Requirement: 
  1. Have taken and passed the CDI Knowledge Exam within 5 years.

Educational Requirement: 
The educational requirement is met when at least one of the following is complete:
  1. Hold an associate’s degree or higher in any field and have already submitted a copy of your college transcript to RID or attach an official copy of your college transcript with the application.
  2. Do not have an associate’s degree or higher, but have already submitted an approved Educational Equivalency Application or have attached a completed Educational Equivalency Application to this exam application.

Register for a CDI Examination:

You can apply and pay for any CDI exam in one of two way:

1.  Complete and send a hard-copy CDI Examination application with payment of appropriate fees to RID Headquarters

hard-copy CDI Knowledge Examination application

hard-copy CDI Performance Examination Application

2.  Apply online by logging on to your RID account (or creating an account if you do not already have one) and clicking on “Register for a Test” in the Testing and CEU Information section. Payment can be made with a VISA or MasterCard.

Please mail all documentation to the Certification Department at RID Headquarters to the following address:

Attn: Cert & Ed Dept
333 Commerce Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

If the exam you want to pay for is not shown, please contact the Certification Department by calling 703-838-0030 and choosing option 5 “Pre-Testing” or emailing

Special Accommodations for CDI Exams

RID complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and will accommodate requests from qualified candidates with a diagnosed disability for accommodations if the request is reasonable, properly documented and does not fundamentally alter the examination or jeopardize exam security.

Those requesting accommodations must send a hard-copy application, note the needed accommodations on the application and attach supporting documentation at least 30 days in advance of the scheduled exam date.  
Test Details
CDI Rating Scales 

Study Materials
CDI Sample Written Test Package

CDI Reference Materials List

Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc.
333 Commerce Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, (703) 838-0030

© Copyright 2015 Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc.