Interpreter (Sign Language Interpreter)

Washington, D.C
Jun 10, 2021
Jun 12, 2021
Full Time


WHAT IS THE EQUITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION (EDI), OPERATIONS DIVISION? The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) advises IRS senior leadership on diversity and inclusion matters, and EEO policy. EDI helps coordinate cross functional efforts to ensure a diverse and inclusive IRS workforce that is free from discrimination and harassment.

Refer to Other Information for Locations.

Learn more about this agency


WHAT DOES AN INTERPRETER (SIGN LANGUAGE) DO? Interpreters interpret and translate from American Sign Language (ASL) to English, and English to ASL. They interpret/translate in formal and informal meetings with Deaf/hard-of-hearing employees, their coworkers and their supervisors. They provide interpreting services at in a variety of situations, including but not limited to one-on-one and group communications, EEO complaints, grievances, team and staff meetings, town hall and special events, interviews, taxpayer meetings with IRS staff, meetings with constituency groups, large conferences and training sessions. They conduct formal and informal educational programs for hearing management and staff concerning issues related to Deaf/Deaf-blind/hard-of-hearing individuals, Deaf culture and related language access issues and evaluate the program effectiveness. They identify barriers and assist in resolving communication problems between Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees, coworkers, and supervisors.

As an Interpreter (Sign Language) you will:
  • Interpret for Deaf or hard-of-hearing employees in a variety of settings, including meetings, seminars, conferences or training.
  • Conduct needs assessments to determine if an ongoing program of in-house sign language instruction for employees is needed, to include co-developing and implementing the training with appropriate deaf/hard of hearing employees. Additionally, evaluate program effectiveness.
  • Conduct formal and informal educational programs for hearing management and staff concerning issues related to deaf/deaf-blind/hard-of-hearing individuals, Deaf culture and related language access issues.
  • Identify barriers to a successful interpretation and use professional norms such as Demand-Control Schema to mitigate these barriers.
  • Ensure an effective interpretation is produced by knowing when and how to use simultaneous interpretations, consecutive interpretation, and transliterations, as well as which language modality is most easily understood by the deaf/deaf-blind/hard-of-hearing employee(s) on the ASL to English scale.
  • Construct equivalent discourse in the target language while monitoring message comprehension and feedback to modify interpretation accordingly.
  • Develop and conduct workshops and presentations for managers about integrating Deaf, hearing and IRS cultures by implementing cultural mediation techniques.

    WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OTHER IRS CAREERS? If you want to find out more about IRS careers, visit us on the web at

Travel Required

Occasional travel - 1 to 5 nights per month.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Refer to Other Information.
  • Click "Print Preview" to review the entire announcement before applying.
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National
  • IRS Employees with Career or Career Conditional Appointments

This is a bilingual position. Applicant must hold a national interpreting certification. Examples include: NIC; NIC ADV; NIC Master; CI; CT; and CI/CT. Certifications are conveyed by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), the national accrediting organization for professional interpreters. Applicants will be required to demonstrate mastery and expertise in producing effective interpretations through a variety of sign modalities: American Sign Language (ASL), Pidgin Signed English (PSE), Conceptually Signed English (CASE) and Manually Coded English (MCE). You must maintain current competencies in the field of interpreting (e.g., attending workshops and classes, reading professional literature, working with a mentor).

If you indicate language proficiency, you will be tested at some point in the hiring process to determine if you possess the required level of proficiency. If you are unable to demonstrate proficiency, you will not be qualified for these positions.


You must meet the following requirements by the closing date of this announcement:

BASIC REQUIREMENT: Undergraduate and Graduate Education: Major study -- the appropriate foreign language from an English-speaking college or university, English from a college or university in the other country, or translating or interpreting where English and the foreign language were prerequisites. OR Experience in translating, interpreting, or other work requiring the use of English and the other language; or a combination of work (that required English and the other language) and training at the Defense Language Institute, Foreign Service Institute, or comparable training. The following are examples of work in the required language that may have provided the required abilities: translator; interpreter; librarian or information specialist required to make abstracts, screen, index, and scan material; intelligence; writer or editor; international organizational work, such as the Peace Corps, World Bank, United Nations, business, or other organizations; or professor, teacher, or instructor work at the high school or college level that required use of the foreign language.

In addition to the above, you must meet the requirements below:

GS-11 LEVEL: You must have 1 year of specialized experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to the GS-09 grade level in the Federal service. Specialized experience for this position includes: experience with English, American Sign Language (ASL), Contact Variety Sign (CVS) and Manually Coded English (MCE) to perform Sign-to-English and English-to-Sign interpretation; experience with the interpreting processes to determine the most effective means of communication for each Deaf/Deaf-blind/hard of hearing employee; experience in the development of training curriculum and utilizing current methods and materials in the instruction of sign language courses; experience with the use of telecommunication devices, assistive listening devices and other related technology for Deaf/Deaf-blind/hard of hearing employees; experience using the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) Code of Professional Conduct (CPC) in order to maintain ethical standards for professional interpreters; experience working with sources and procedures for contracting sign language interpreter services; and effective written and oral communication skills. Examples of qualifying specialized experience include: Interpreting for deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals in meetings or trainings; Coordinating the schedules efforts with Authorized Government Representatives to include: making necessary arrangements of in-house and/or contracted interpreter services, tracking hours, following up on confirmation of services and allocation of funds. Assisting with the development and implementation of training for sign language instruction for employees; and Identifying barriers and resolving communication problems between supervisors, coworkers and Deaf/Deaf-blind/hard-of-hearing employees. OR

You may substitute education for specialized experience as follows: A Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree, OR 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a degree in Sign Language Interpreting or a related field of study. OR LL.M, if related OR

You may qualify by a combination of experience and education. Options for qualifying based on a combination will be identified in the online questions.

- The experience may have been gained in the public sector, private sector or Volunteer Service . One year of experience refers to full-time work; part-timework is considered on a prorated basis.
- To ensure full credit for your work experience, please indicate dates of employment by month/year, and indicate number of hours worked per week, on your resume.

In addition to the above requirements, you must meet the following, if applicable:
You must have been at the next lower grade level of the grade you are applying to for 52 weeks (time-in-grade requirement).


Additional information

One (1) Position is located in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Disability Services Section Team II. To be filled in one of the following locations: 1111 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC (DC0022) OR 5000 Ellin Road, Lanham-Seabrook, MD, (MD0278).


A PM/C SharePoint site is available for IRS Employees at:

  • We may select from this announcement or any other source to fill one or more vacancies.
  • This is a non-bargaining unit position.
  • Alternative work schedule, staggered work hours or telework may be available.
  • Tour of Duty: Monday - Friday 8am - 4:30 p.m.
  • Must meet IRS telework eligibility requirements.
  • Relocation Expenses: NO
  • Obtain and use a Government-issued charge card for business-related travel.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Your application includes your resume, responses to the online questions, and required supporting documents. Please be sure that your resume includes detailed information to support your qualifications for this position; failure to provide sufficient evidence in your resume may result in a "not qualified" determination.

Your application will be evaluated on the competencies of the position to be filled per the IRS Merit Promotion Plan in the following areas: Flexibility, Interpersonal Skills, Interpreting, ProblemSolving, and Self-Management.

Your application will also be rated and ranked among others, based on your responses to the online questions, regarding your experience, education, training, performance appraisals and awards relevant to the duties of this position. IRS employees may obtain most recent awards listing at .

Your rating may be lowered, if your responses to the online questions are not supported by the education and/or experience described in your application.

You will be assigned to one of three quality groups. Each group represents a quality level (i.e., Superior/Best Qualified, Highly Qualified, Qualified). Candidates will be considered in quality group order. If you are among the top qualified candidates, your application may be referred to a selecting official for consideration. You may be required to participate in a selection interview (telephonic and/or in person at the discretion of the Selecting Official in accordance with hiring polices). We will not reimburse costs related to the interview such as travel to and from the interview site.

If you are a displaced or surplus Treasury employee eligible for the Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) , you must receive a score of HIGHLY QUALIFIED or better to be rated as well qualified to receive special selection priority.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required

Required Documents

A complete application includes 1. A resume, 2. Vacancy question responses, and 3. Submission of any required documents. Please note that if you do not provide all required information, as specified in this announcement, you will not be considered for this position (or may not receive the special consideration for which you may be eligible).

All applicants are required to submit a resume either by creating one in USAJOBS or uploading one of their own choosing. ( Cover letters are optional). To receive full credit for relevant experience, please list the month/year and number of hours worked for experience listed on your resume. We suggest that you preview the online questions, as you may need to customize your resume to ensure that it supports your responses to these questions. Please view Resume Tips .

Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) DOCUMENTATION
If you are a displaced or surplus Treasury employee, click CTAP for eligibility and a detailed list of required documents. IRS CTAP eligibles can apply for jobs within and outside the commuting area.

IRS Reassignment Preference Program (RPP)
You must meet the requirements in your RPP notice. Submit a copy of your RPP Notice along with a copy of your most recent annual performance appraisal. Your performance appraisal must have a fully successful or higher overall rating.

Submit a copy of your most recent completed performance appraisal.

IRS employees:
if a revalidated appraisal is used for merit promotion, the supervisor must prepare a narrative for each critical job element that does not have a narrative describing the performance in the appraisal period covered by the rating. Note: If you are a manager or management official, your most recent annual performance appraisal must be used for the overall rating identified.

Applicant must submit a national interpreting certification. Certifications are conveyed by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), the national accrediting organization for professional interpreters.

If you are qualifying for this position by substituting education or training for experience, submit a copy of your transcripts or equivalent. If the position has specific education requirements and you are currently (or have previously been) in the Federal job series to be filled, there is no need to submit a transcript or equivalent at this time. An official transcript will be required if you are selected.

A college or university degree generally must be from an accredited (or pre-accredited) college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools which meet these criteria, please refer to Department of Education Accreditation page .

If you are qualifying based on foreign education, you must submit proof of creditability of education as evaluated by a credentialing agency. Refer to the OPM instructions.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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