The SLPI: ASL has a long history beginning in 1994. The first SLPI team was established at the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf in Wilson in 1994 through training provided by Dr. Bill Newell and Dr. Frank Caccamise of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID). Later other SLPI teams were established at the North Carolina School for the Deaf in Morganton and the Central North Carolina School for the Deaf in Greensboro. The North Carolina Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (DSDHH) has been promoting the use of the SLPI in the schools and community service agencies with the deaf and hard of hearing population since the beginning. In 2000, the Deaf Specialists in several Regional Centers for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing under DSDHH formed SLPI teams to serve individuals in the community, colleges and universities, and professionals working at the schools for the Deaf.
In 1998, Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina formed its own SLPI team.
There are at least 25 SLPI: ASL interviewers and raters across the state. They have taken SLPI training, have participated in mentorships and refreshers, and have attended numerous workshops on American Sign Language (ASL).
The requests for the SLPI: ASL service has been growing tremendously and has put an additional burden on the Deaf Services Specialists within the Regional Centers for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Also of importance, North Carolina now requires ASLTA certification for teachers of ASL in K-12 settings. The National ASLTA started requiring SLPI: ASL or ASLPI for ASLTA Provisional certification on January 1, 2009.
In response to this growing demand, especially the requirement stated above, NC ASLTA started exploring the concept of providing the SLPI: ASL interview by videophone. This concept was initiated by Bill Newell who at that time worked at Valdosta State University. Later James Womack of the College of South Nevada pursued the concept. Keith M. Cagle provided the SLPI: ASL orientation for CSN faculty and staff, and then, introduced Kathy Apperson to James Womack to initiate the concept of performing the SLPI: ASL by videophone. Tom Riggs of Arizona and Kathy Apperson expressed an interest in coordinating with the raters in their States; however, James Womack has now moved to Kentucky.
The NC ASLTA Board in the summer of 2008 decided to move forward and to create its own NC ASLTA SLPI: ASL team. The Board appointed Kathy Apperson as the first statewide coordinator for NC ASLTA SLPI: ASL. The team consists of 13 interviewers and raters who are all Deaf and possess the rating of Superior Plus. Seven of them hold ASLTA certification. They are employed by schools for the deaf, colleges & universities, and state agencies. Three of them are national SLPI trainers.
The NC ASLTA SLPI: ASL team members are:
The first interviews and ratings through NC ASLTA SLPI: ASL were conducted in March 2009. The NC ASLTA SLPI: ASL is open to persons out-of-state. In the spring of 2009 the Louisiana School for the Deaf entered into a contract with the NC ASLTA SLPI: ASL to perform the interviews and ratings for its teachers and staff.