The limited English proficient population within the United States has grown over 80 percent within the last 20 years, and continues to do so. Language access programs ensure equal access to everyday programs, services and activities that schools provide, including those that impact the vital safety of the community, health and legal rights. Although the need within our particular region is not frequent, it is often urgent.
In an effort to assist our region’s school districts in meeting the needs of the whole child, and doing so efficiently and effectively, Language Line Solutions was contracted through Community Schools to provide translation and interpretation, as needed. Language Line Solutions is a proven and trusted partner in the field of language access that has been in the business for nearly 40 years, with over 25 thousand clients, including top government and healthcare sectors.
The Community Schools Service Showcase on September 24th, hosted representatives of the company to personally introduce the service. Participants learned of the specific services that are available to their districts within the contract and expanded upon the circumstances in which they might be utilized. Specific services included written translation, telephonic interpretation and video interpretation in upwards of 240 languages, inclusive of American Sign Language.
When might schools use spoken and signed interpretation? Good question. Language Line phone interpreting or Language Line InSight video interpreting might be helpful for any inbound or outbound phone calls, parent-teacher conferences, meetings with school administrators, discipline follow up, school nurse visits, new student registration meetings or special education related meetings, including Committee on Special Education (CSE) Meetings. Interpretation services are available on demand, with an average connection time of 30 seconds or less.
Written translation, would be particularly useful to overcome language barriers in various school related situations. Some examples would include, exams or tests, written Individualized Education Plans (IEP), parental consent notices, progress reports, parent handbooks, medical authorization forms and other general notices. Once a district has a document translated, they own that document and are able to reproduce such documents as needed, for example, parent handbooks.
Community Schools will be working with Language Line Solutions to host a virtual informational meeting later this fall. Please look for an announcement or contact Katie Mendell at Kathryn_mendell@caboces.org for more information.
By: Katie Mendell, CA BOCES Community Schools
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