Sign Language Interpreter Services: RFP # 21-008


The New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services Vocational Rehabilitation Program (ACCES-VR) requests proposals from eligible parties to provide sign language interpreter referral services for ACCES-VR participants, ACCES-VR staff, and for ACCES-VR administered functions (i.e., public meetings, training sessions, etc.).  The referral services will provide sign language interpreters to convert spoken language into American Sign Language for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. This RFP is for both on-site and video remote interpreter (VRI) American Sign Language interpreting services; bidders applying to this request must be able to provide both services.  Subject to the availability of funds, the funding level is anticipated to be $20.5 million for the entire 5-year contract period.  ACCES-VR anticipates awarding multiple sign language interpreter referral service contracts per Region. Bidders may apply to serve a single Region or a maximum of two (2) Regions.

Interpreter Referral Service Agencies currently under contract with NYSED ACCES-VR to provide onsite and/or VRI sign language interpreting referral services who wish to continue to provide these services, MUST apply to this RFP.  All current interpreter referral service contracts with ACCES-VR expire on May 31, 2021.

Note:  Bidders are only required to submit one bid application to provide sign language interpreter referral services for one or a maximum of two ACCES-VR Regions and the ACCES-VR District Offices therein.

Eligible Applicant:

The following entities are eligible to apply for the Interpreter Referral Service/ VRI:

  • Sign language interpreter referral services;
  • Private and proprietary agencies providing sign language interpreting services; and,
  • Independent Living Centers whose services include providing sign language interpreting services.

No individual sign language interpreter applicants will be accepted for this RFP.


Subcontracting will be permitted.  Subcontracting is defined as non-employee direct, personal services and related incidental expenses; including travel. Subcontracted services must adhere to all ACCES-VR policies, procedures and guidelines as does the contract vendor. The contract vendor will be held responsible for all subcontractor service delivery as if they directly provided the services. 

Term of Contract:

The contracts resulting from this RFP will be for five (5) years, anticipated to begin on June 1, 2021 and to end on May 31, 2026.

Questions and Answers:

Questions regarding the request must be submitted by email to no later than the close of business October 8, 2020. Questions regarding this request should be identified as Program, Fiscal or M/WBE. A Questions and Answers Summary will be posted to ACCES Procurement webpage no later than October 22, 2020. The following are the designated contacts for this procurement:

Program Matters

Fiscal Matters

Donald McManus

Adam Kutryb



Submission Due Dates:

Proposals under this Request for Proposal must be submitted to ACCES-VR electronically to The subject line should read "BID SUBMISSION RFP #21-008 [legal name of the organization]”.

The submission documents package must be submitted as detailed in the Submission section of the RFP, preferably in a single Microsoft Word or editable PDF file titled Bid Submission RFP #21-008 [legal name of the organization].

All emailed documents must be received in the State Education Department no later than November 12, 2020. Proposals received after the due date will not be accepted or considered for a contract award.