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Notice to Offeror

Request for Proposal by TAPED for Communication Access Services Including Sign Language Interpretation, Captioning, and DeafBlind Supports. July 23-25, 2024 at the AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center in Austin, Texas.

Submittal Deadline: January 3, 2024

Questions regarding this RFP must be submitted in writing to Rachella Moore, Communication Access Team Member for SWCED 2024, at  no later than December 11, 2023. All questions and answers will be posted to Offerors are responsible for viewing the website to review all questions and answers prior to submitting proposals. Oral communications concerning this RFP shall not be binding and shall in no way excuse an Offeror of the obligations set forth in this proposal.

Proposals must be sealed, prominently marked with the RFP title, RFP opening time/date and name of Offeror. Submissions must be received by January 3, 2024 by Rachella Moore and Marla Martinez at Communication Access for SWCED 2024, Statewide Outreach Center, 1102 South Congress Ave., Austin, Texas 78704-1728 no later than 2:00 p.m. central time. Proposals received prior to the submittal deadline will be time-stamped upon receipt and kept secure and unopened. At the submittal deadline, TAPED will collect all proposals received before the deadline designated for the proposal opening. Proposals will be opened and recorded publicly during the TAPED Board January meeting. Any proposal received later than the specified time, whether delivered in person, courier or mailed, will not be considered. Late proposals will be returned to sender unopened.


The 2024 biennial Texas Statewide Conference on Education of the Deaf (SWCED) is rapidly approaching. The conference will take place at the AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center in Austin, Texas, July 23-25, 2024. TAPED requests proposals from qualified suppliers with the intent to enter into Contract for Communication Access Services (including sign language interpreting, captioning, and DeafBlind supports). TAPED is actively seeking  to collaborate with selected vendors in conjunction with the 2024 SWCED planning committee members, Rachella Moore and Marla Martinez. Together, selected vendors and the SWCED planning committee will manage and provide communication access. The primary objective is to ensure impeccable communication access services throughout the event. Thus, TAPED is initiating a call for bids for the provision of communication access services. 

SWCED 2024 is scheduled for July 23 – 25, 2024, at the AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center in Austin, Texas, and anticipates a substantial audience of up to 1000 participants. Vendor expertise and commitment to communication and language access will play a crucial role in the success of this event.

In 1984, the inaugural Statewide Conference took shape in response to a recognized need among stakeholders in Deaf Education. It was evident that an unified voice was essential to represent educators and parents of deaf and hard of hearing children across the state. Consequently, this led to the establishment of the Texas Association of Parents and Educators for the Deaf (T.A.P.E.D) in the same year. Among the core objectives of T.A.P.E.D was the creation of a statewide conference, fostering a space where stakeholders from all corners of the state could convene.

Our current landscape comprises parents and educators from 53 Regional Day School Programs and Texas School for the Deaf. The 2024 SWCED Planning committee is dedicated to upholding the legacy of delivering exceptional state and national speakers to the conference. The committee includes representatives from T.A.P.E.D., ESCs, RDSPDs, TSD and HSSC (state agencies/programs) who collectively enrich the spectrum of workshops. The conference offers a comprehensive 12-strand workshop track with topics spanning from educational strategies and technologies to research-based practice.


TAPED is seeking qualified vendors who can provide Communication Access Services (including sign language interpreting, captioning, and DeafBlind supports) to accommodate participants with such needs at the Texas Statewide Conference for the Education of the Deaf (SWCED), 2024. 

This contract award will supersede and replace existing contracts for any current contract holders. If not awarded under this solicitation, an existing contract will remain valid throughout its contract term. 

Offerors are encouraged to offer their complete catalog of product and services which may include: 

  • Telephone and On-site speech interpretation
  • Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) 
  • Video Remote: Interpreting and CART 
  • Sign Language Interpretation 
  • Co-Navigators
  • Intervening for the DeafBlind
  • Written translation or interpretation 
  • Create documents, training, presentation, manual materials. 
  • Transcription including converting live, recorded speech (audio, video, and phone), preparing documents for low-vision accessibility, and Braille 
  • Open and Closed Caption 
  • Court reporting, dictation, and shorthand 
  • Social Media and Graphic Design Literature 
  • Other services, as related to interpretation, transcription, training, testing, intercultural consulting, etc
  1. Interpreter and Translator Requirements 
  • Screened and tested for proficiency in both written English and the target language(s) with affiliation/accreditation by the American Translators Association ( or have other credentials or certifications that are comparable to or exceed the standards of the American Translators Association. 
  • Verify sign language interpreters and interveners for the DeafBlind hold certifications such as BEI,EPIA (4.0), RID, SEE, and/or NAD. Sign language interpreters and interveners for the DeafBlind should be proficient in one or more of the following:  ASL, PSE/SEE, DeafBlind, Oral, and/or Trilingual interpreting. This versatility aligns with the diverse range of speakers, workshop presenters and conference participants.
  • Able to write at an appropriate reading level for target audience and are linguistically accurate, culturally appropriate, and technically consistent with the original documents and ensure that a single translator is used to complete each document to ensure continuity and consistency in terminology, syntax, and style. 
  • Knowledgeable about U.S. domestic culture. Translators utilized from a foreign country are not acceptable unless the potential translator was raised within the U.S. or has spent significant recent time in this country and is directly knowledgeable regarding U.S. domestic culture. Any potential issue regarding this requirement/prohibition for a particular translation request must be brought to TAPED for resolution. 
  • Interpreters who are able to act as a bridge, providing TAPED with feedback not only on grammatical and linguistic accuracy, but also on cultural appropriateness. 
  • Knowledgeable of and comply with HIPAA related privacy guidelines. 
  • Aware of affidavits and statements of truth in reference to the validity of the translation. 
  1. Overview of Conference Planning and Provision of Service

Outlined below are the bid requirements for proposals. This structure offers transparency in objectives and highlights the synchronized demands that will arise throughout the conference.

The chosen contractor(s) will assume responsibility for all transportation and any related expenses linked to the deployment of communication access services. It is mandated that for all conference sessions, certified sign language interpreters must be engaged, specifically those at BEI Level III or Advanced and beyond, or holding credentials such as RID CSC, CI, and CT or NIC at the Advanced level or higher.

Bids should be received by January 3, 2024. Bids should be typewritten and emailed to:

Rachella Moore and Marla Martinez
Communication Access for SWCED 2024
Statewide Outreach Center
1102 South Congress Ave. 
Austin, Texas 78704-1728
Email: and 

The planning committee will notify the selected vendors upon decision. Upon award, the following deliverables are required.

  1. Attendance at Planning Meeting: The Interpreter Coordinator is required to attend a planning meeting on Feb 16, 2024 at the AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center Austin. This meeting is scheduled from (8am – 3pm) and will involve collaboration with the StateWide Conference Planning Committee. The Interpreter Coordinator is also required to virtually attend the StateWide Conference Planning Committee Monthly Meeting from Jan to July.
  2.  Final 12-Strand Schedule:  By March 2024, the selected interpreting agency is to furnish a comprehensive 12-strand schedule. This early provision facilitates the pre-preparation tasks, including recruiting and aligning sign language interpreters with opening and closing keynoters, workshop presenters, and participants.
  3. Draft Schedule with Assigned Interpreters: By April 2024, the interpreter coordinator should provide a draft schedule outlining the assigned interpreters in conjunction with the speakers.
  4. On-Site Assistance During the Conference: Throughout July 23 – 25, 2024, the interpreter coordinator will collaborate with the Communication Access Team to address any last-minute requests or changes pertaining to interpreting services. This collaborative troubleshooting ensures the smooth functioning of interpreting provisions.
  5. Special Needs Interpreter Notice: Registrants for SWCED must provide a two-week notice for special needs interpreters (e.g., DeafBlind, Oral). In the event of such requirements, the selected bidder will be responsible for supplying suitably trained personnel. Please detail the hourly rate for special needs interpreting on an as-needed basis an addendum to this bid.

Below is a copy of the 2022 conference agenda. The 2024 conference agenda will be similar. For your reference, the website ( provides supplementary information, including the layout and intricate particulars concerning the conference.

Sample Agenda

Day 1

8:30 am – 11:00 am1.5 hours General Assembly: Keynote Address
11:00 am – 1:00 pm12 concurrent sessions of 1.5 hours each
2:00 pm – 4:30 pm12 concurrent sessions of 1.5 hours each
4:30 pm – 6:00 pm12 concurrent sessions of 1.5 hours each
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm2 hours of Family Fun Event (social event)

Day 2

8:30 am – 11:00 am12 concurrent sessions of 1.5 hours each
11:00 am – 1:00 pm12 concurrent sessions of 1.5 hours each
2:00 pm – 4:30 pm12 concurrent sessions of 1.5 hours each

Day 3

8:30 am – 11:00 am1.5 hours General Assembly: Keynote Address
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