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Resources in Multiple Languages

Nearly 9% of the US population is limited English proficient (LEP). For them access to essential public services is a challenge. With a worldwide crisis like COVID-19 the collaboration among public services organization and an effective stream of communication in multiple languages is essential.

Assuring culturally and linguistically appropriate access to information guarantees that people with limited English proficiency are provided equal access and better outcomes in public services.

Protections start with effective communication in a language that people can understand, thus, Equal Access Language Services LLC has created a cheat sheet for organizations and public services providers to understand the resources needed.

1. Access to qualified services: Interpretation and Translation

a. Interpretation is the process of rendering a spoken or signed message into another spoken or signed language. (ISO, 13611, 2014) The interpreter needs to fully understand, analyze, and process a spoken or signed message and then faithfully render it into another spoken or signed language. (ASTM International, F2089, Standard Practice for Language Interpreting, 2015.)

b. Public Services interpreters are a special category. They provide language services to public services such as healthcare, court proceedings, education etc.

c. Translation is the process of transferring a text from one language into another language.

2. Modalities of interpretation: Public Services interpreters can interpret in three different modalities:

a. In-person: The interpreter, the provider, and the LEP are in the same location. Adequate for pre-scheduled appointments.

b. Video Remote Interpretation: The provider and the LEP are in the same location while the interpreter appears by video. Adequate for pre-schedule appointment; for immediate/urgent appointments; for interpretation requests where the language is hard to find locally; for signed language interpretation.

c. Over the phone interpretation: The provider and the LEP are in the same location while the interpreter appears by phone. Adequate for pre-schedule appointment; for immediate/urgent appointments; for interpretation requests where the language is hard to find locally.

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