Posted on behalf of member, Angela Sasso, Interpreter's Lab
Apart from legislation/guidelines that support access to health care services in official (French and English) and sign languages, there are no legal frameworks that secure access to healthcare services for speakers of other minority languages – such as languages represented by immigrant and refugee communities. While professional membership organizations under the Canadian Terminologists, Translators and Interpreters Council (CTTIC), such as STIBC and ATIO, certify language professionals (community interpreters, medical interpreters, etc.) certification is not a mandate to provide quality language services. As we all also know, the practice across Canada has been, and continues to be a patchwork of approaches that still includes the use of family members, children and ad-hoc staff members to perform the work of an interpreter. These practices not only denigrate the profession, but they have the potential to cause irreparable damage to individuals and costly expense to the system. Study after study has consistently demonstrated that quality interpreting services always provide benefit. Without a clear legal framework, the use of inappropriate language resources will continue to happen. Practices that also involve using untrained, bilinguals as interpreters.
I urge you to sign the petition that has been drafted by our esteemed colleague, Young Joe of Bilinguals International, which requests the Federal Government to:
1. Create an action plan for training and recruiting qualified medical interpreters
2. Institute a federal-level policy enforcing the use of trained interpreters in health care settings; and
3. Ensure mandatory training for health care providers on how to effectively work with interpreters.
Petition e-2136 - English
Pétition e-2136 - Français
Angela Sasso | Founder & Director, Shifting Pictures Inc.
The Interpreter’s Lab (a program of Shifting Pictures)