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Webinar Series

Health Care Equity and Language Access in Indigenous Populations

June 21, 2023 / 11:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT

Join this webinar to explore the particularities of working with the most widely spoken Indigenous Central American languages in the Bay Area. We’ll also discuss the current realities speakers of these languages face regarding equity in language access to health care.

Navigating the American medical system is, to say the least, a headache – and that’s if you speak English! Now imagine having to do it in Spanish when that’s not your first language. California is home to a growing population of Mexican and Central American immigrants whose first language is not Spanish. In this webinar, we will focus on the most commonly spoken Indigenous languages in the Bay Area, how they differ from Spanish, and why they cannot be called “dialects”. We will also look at the major cultural barriers that these immigrant populations face in navigating the American health care system. Translators and interpreters, whether they work in the medical field or not, serve as a bridge between languages and cultures. The reality of Indigenous language speakers is often misunderstood and worth learning more about.

You will learn how to:

  1. Identify the main Mexican indigenous languages spoken in California
  2. Understand the major challenges faced by indigenous groups in the United States
  3. Educate health care providers and other stakeholders about the importance of using indigenous language professionals whenever possible.


About the Presenter

William Giller received his M.A. from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (EN, ES, FR). He has worked as a freelance translator and conference interpreter and is currently the Digital Content Director for the Northern California Translators Association. William works as a senior interpreter and translator for English, French, Portuguese and Spanish at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health in Palo Alto, California. As a Certified Healthcare InterpreterTM (Spanish), William has interpreted for countless patients and families who speak Spanish as a second language and has worked with a number of indigenous language interpreters. He has witnessed firsthand the linguistic and cultural challenges that immigrants from Mexico and Central America face when navigating the U.S. healthcare system.

Register Now!


June 21, 2023
11:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT
Event Category:
Presenter(s): William Giller
Duration: 60 minutes
Presenting Language(s): English
Level: All levels
ATA CEPs: 1.0

Code of Conduct

ATA is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all participants. By registering for this event, you agree to abide by the Code of Conduct for Virtual Programs.



American Translators Association

Event Type