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Millcreek Journal

Utah Interpreter Program celebrates 30 years of service

Jul 01, 2022 12:06PM ● By Peri Kinder

By Peri Kinder | [email protected]

Since 1992, the Utah Interpreter Program has ensured that American Sign Language interpreters throughout the state meet the highest standards through certification and professional development as well as maintaining a statewide interpreter directory.

This year marks UIP’s 30th anniversary of working directly with sign language interpreters and members of the Deaf, hard-of-hearing and DeafBlind communities. 

“Utah was 20 to 30 years ahead of many other states in its recognition and protection of the communication rights of Deaf, hard-of-hearing and DeafBlind citizens,” said Trenton Marsh, director of the Utah Interpreter Program. “As early as 1975, the Utah Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, in collaboration with local Deaf leaders, created a certification process for sign language interpreters, 20 years before it became state law.”

After the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, the provision of interpreting services changed. Community organizations such as URID and the Utah Association of the Deaf asked the Division of Services of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to take on the responsibility of certifying interpreters and educating the public regarding communication access issues. This led to the creation of UIP.

In 1993, Utah passed legislation requiring certification of sign language interpreters.

“This is incredible since many states still do not have a similar law today,” Marsh said.

Currently, UIP focuses on providing certification exams and oversees annual certification and professional development status for all sign language interpreters in Utah. It also educates the public about state interpreting laws and policies, and provides interpreting services for DSDHH and vocational rehabilitation staff, as well as for the Utah governor’s press conferences.

UIP recognizes nearly 600 certified interpreters in the state. Interpreters can be certified after demonstrating skills, knowledge and judgment to be able to facilitate communication, including complex, technical or specialized situations. To learn more about the program, or to become a certified interpreter, visit