Interpreter and Translation Services

What's Required

§ 29.005. Individualized Education Program. [Excerpt] (d) If the child's parent is unable to speak English, the district shall: (1) provide the parent with a written or audiotaped copy of the child's individualized education program translated into Spanish if Spanish is the parent's native language; or (2) if the parent's native language is a language other than Spanish, make a good faith effort to provide the parent with a written or audiotaped copy of the child's individualized education program translated into the parent's native language.
§ 300.322 (e) The public agency must take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the parent understands the proceedings of the IEP team meeting, including arranging for an interpreter for parents with deafness or whose native language is other than English.

34 CFR §300.503(c) Notice in understandable language. (1) The notice required under paragraph (a) of this section must be— (i) Written in language understandable to the general public; and (ii) Provided in the native language of the parent or other mode of communication used by the parent, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.

Recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice states: LEP parents are entitled to meaningful communication in a language they can understand, such as through translated materials or a language interpreter, and to adequate notice of information about any program, service, or activity that is called to the attention of non-LEP parents. More information on the district’s specific obligations to parents of ELLs can be found at:

What We Do

Requirements for Translator/Interpreter
  1. For Spanish translation/interpretation of the ARD/IEP meeting, the school may request a translator/interpreter by emailing Amparo Silva ( or the campus may utilize their campus translator/interpreter designee who has successfully completed the Special Education Translator/Interpreter courses.
    • The special education department provides one training per semester (spring and fall) for IEP meeting interpreters/translators
    • Please have campus designee(s) register in advance through Eduphoria. 
    • Only Spring ISD staff who have completed the Special Education Interpreter training course may translate/interpret for IEP meetings. A list of campus designated and trained staff can be found at this LINK
  2. The interpreter for the hearing impaired must be trained as an interpreter for the hearing impaired.
  3.  For languages other than Spanish, the school must request a translator/interpreter by making an official request at east one week in advance and submit via the Interpreter Request Form (Non-Spanish)
Additional Guidelines for ARD/IEP Meetings

To ensure that parents fully understand the ARD/IEP proceedings and are able to participate in all discussions related to the educational placement of their child or adult student, the special education diagnostician/ARD Facilitator and all relevant staff must ensure the following:
  • If the parent’s/adult student's native language is Spanish, provide an audio copy of the translated IEP meeting in Spanish, during which each section and each required element of the IEP is discussed, even if there are no changes to the sections. The audio copy of the meeting must contain ALL required elements of the IEP (see IEP Meeting Agenda).
  • If the parent’s/adult student's native language is a language other than Spanish, make a good faith effort to provide the parent/adult student with an audio copy of the translated IEP meeting in their native language.
  • Provide all Prior Written Notices to parent/adult student in their native language, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so. If it is not feasible to provide a Prior Written Notice in the parent's/adult student's native language, make a good faith effort to provide an oral translation to the parent/adult student.
  • Check the audio equipment prior to the meeting, and place next to the interpreter/translator in order to obtain an audible recording.Digital recording is required. 
  • The recording should be stopped and restarted at 1hr intervals to ensure file size is manageable. 
  • Check the recording at the conclusion of the meeting to ensure that it is audible. If it is not audible, offer to provide a written translated copy of the IEP to the parent/adult student.
  • After the IEP Meeting upload the audio recording to eSped as it is required to maintain a copy of the audio recording or the written translation for every ARD/IEP meeting. File name structure should be as follows: 
    • Lastname.FirstInitial.ARD Date.mp3 (ex. Doe.J.2.04.17.mp4)
    • audio files must in or .mp3 or mp4. 
Note: A translated summary of the meeting does not meet the requirement of the regulation. It is best practice to follow a set agenda including all the required elements of the IEP. In the event that each section of the IEP is not discussed and translated during the ARD/IEP meeting, provide a written translation of the entire IEP to the parent/adult student.

Written Translation Requirements
  • In the rare occasions the recording is not audible, or if the parent/adult student requests a written copy of the IEP in their native language, complete the IEP Document Translation Request Form
  • The request for written translation will be assigned centrally and the translated document will be provided to the school.
  • The translated document should be given to the parent within 30 school days of receiving the request. Find out from the parent/adult student how they would like the translated document given to them and if they would like any help in understanding the document.
Spring ISD endeavors to provide an accurate translation of the IEP meeting where all elements of the IEP are discussed and a recording of the translation is provided to the parent. If requested, Spring ISD will make similar efforts to accurately translate the written IEP document. For all regulatory, audit and legal purposes, the English document is the only official document. Should any dispute arise over the contents of an IEP, the only document that shall be considered legally binding shall be the English document.

Additional Resources