Newsbriefs: August 16, 2022

Middlebury Institute of International Studies


Back to School with ATA Webinars!

Check out these upcoming ATA webinars for great continuing education opportunities. And remember, ATA members save 25% on webinar registration!

When the Invisible Becomes Visible: Inclusive Uses of Language in T&I
Presenters: Sylvia Falchuk, Graciela Alita Steinberg
Date: August 31
Time: 12:00 noon ET
Duration: 60 minutes
Level: All
CE Point(s): 1 ATA-approved

This webinar will be presented in Spanish.

What role do translators and interpreters play in supporting inclusion as part of the norm? From the overarching question of personal choice or professional responsibility to concepts, such as human rights and accessibility, to specific strategies for binary and non-binary language, this webinar will examine the “gender lens” as an approach to 21st-century communication.

Register now! ATA Member $45 | Non-Member $60

Workshop: Become a Voice Talent
Presenter: Rafa Lombardino
Date: September 1
Time: 11:30 a.m. ET
Duration: 3 hours
Level: All
CE Point(s): 3 ATA-approved

This workshop is limited to 30 attendees.

Increase your competitive advantage by adding voice recording services! This 3-hour workshop will cover effective speaking, breathing, pauses, tone of voice, and what equipment and tools are needed for a successful audio recording session. Attendees will also receive real-time feedback on reading exercises for different markets!

Register now! ATA Member $135 | Non-Member $180

Oncology for Medical Interpreters and Translators
Presenter: Yuliya Speroff
Date: September 6
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Duration: 2 hours
Level: All
CE Point(s): 2 ATA-approved

Communication in caring for cancer patients is often complicated. Diagnosis and treatment frequently involve multidisciplinary teams where linguists encounter highly specialized vocabulary and explanations of complex concepts and procedures. When working with limited-English-proficient patients, cultural differences in understanding cancer and expectations of care are likely to further complicate communication. Getting the language right has never been more important.

Register now! ATA Member $90 | Non-Member $120

How to Get Paid: Ensuring That Your Freelance Clients Pay You for Your Work
Presenter: Corinne McKay
Date: September 8
Time: 12:00 noon ET
Duration: 90 minutes
Level: All
CE Point(s): 1 ATA-approved

Learn how to get paid on time and hassle free in your translation and interpreting business. You’re in business as a freelancer to make money, but it’s up to you to ensure that clients pay you for your work. In this nuts-and-bolts webinar, we’ll discuss how to verify that a client is credit-worthy before you accept a project, when to require a deposit or full payment in advance, when you need a full written contract, and how to set the stage for a smooth payment process.

Register now! ATA Member $70 | Non-Member $90

Masterword Wellness Connection


Industry News

Afghans Who Aided Canadian Military Need Immigration Ministry to Act Quickly

CBC (08/10/22) Hwang, Priscilla

A former Canadian military legal officer says a group of Afghan lawyers and other staff who helped his mission in Afghanistan have been “left in the dark,” and is urging Canada’s Immigration Ministry to act quickly to help them escape the Taliban.

It’s been one year since Canada began accepting refugees through its one-year special immigration program for Afghans who helped the Canadian government. The program was established a few weeks before Kabul fell to the Taliban in August 2021. Last month, the government closed the program to new applicants, less than halfway toward its goal of bringing 40,000 Afghans to Canada.

Cory Moore, a former military legal officer with the Canadian Armed Forces, is helping 12 applicants and their families who applied for the program between September and December 2021. He is still waiting for word from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). All 12 Afghans were involved in various capacities during Moore’s mission to help bolster the Afghan National Army’s legal branch. The group includes military prosecutors, criminal investigators, security staff, recruitment video participants, a doctor, and a journalist.

To date, none of the 12 Afghans has received an email from IRCC about their application status. The government website instructs applicants to “wait for us to contact you” once an application has been submitted. “They don’t receive anything,” Moore said.

Tamar Boghossian, an immigration lawyer with Boghossian Morais LLP, is helping Moore with the case. Last week, she refiled and updated all 12 applications. Boghossian said all 12 applicants meet the government’s eligibility requirements. The issue, Boghossian said, is that the program has “no transparency.” The short timeline is also problematic, as the one-year program has already expired. “It’s a slap in the face to those who actually helped the Canadian government,” Boghossian said. “Why can’t we help these individuals in return?”

Boghossian is urging the government to not only extend the deadline for applications, but to also expand the number of people Canada will receive.

“We are working to process applications as quickly as possible,” wrote Aidan Strickland, the spokesperson for Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, noting the resettlement initiative for Afghans is uniquely challenging. Strickland said the eligibility requirements are meant “to be as inclusive as possible,” and can include cooks, drivers, and other staff who helped Canada’s military. “We have accomplished much, but there is still more work to be done.”


New Proposed Rule on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act May Expand Language Access in U.S. Health Care

Slator (08/11/22) Albarino, Seyma

On August 4, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a proposed rule in the Federal Register related to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Enacted in 2010, the ACA expanded health care access eligibility to people previously without health insurance in the U.S. Section 1557 prohibits discrimination on the basis of several protected classes.

According to the proposed rule: “For limited-English-proficiency [LEP] individuals, the lack of proficiency in English and the use of non-English languages is often tied to their national origin. The provision of free and effective language assistance services to LEP individuals is essential to ensure compliance with nondiscrimination laws.”

The new rule will reverse certain changes made during the Trump administration. For example, health care providers were not required to post notices informing patients of their language access rights. Other provisions to be restored by the proposed rule include standards for video remote interpreting and a requirement that health care entities with 15 or more employees designate an individual to coordinate compliance.

Bill Rivers, advocacy consultant for the Association of Language Companies (ALC), said that language access advocates—including representatives from the American Translators Association, ALC, and other organizations—have been working for several years to get these provisions put back in.

The proposed rule would also apply Section 1557 to Medicare Part B, which pays for many outpatient services. While Section 1557 has always applied to Medicare Part A (hospital services), Medicare Part C (managed care), and Part D (prescription drugs), language access has yet to be classified as fully reimbursable by Medicaid or Medicare. “Right now, it’s all sticks and no carrots, but if you’re denied language access you can file a complaint,” Rivers said.

Public comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until October 3, 2022. The National Health Law Program (NHeLP), which works to protect and advance health rights for low-income and underserved individuals and families, plans to create a comment portal and template comments. NHeLP hopes organizations will encourage members to submit feedback.

Mara Youdelman, managing attorney for NHeLP, hopes the new rule will be finalized as soon as possible after the Office for Civil Rights considers the public’s input. “Normally, a final rule can take effect 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register,” Youdelman said. “However, as we have seen with the past two final Section 1557 regulations, court challenges may delay implementation of certain provisions.”


Setback for Quebec’s New Language Law as Judge Suspends Two Articles of Bill 96

CBC (08/12/22)

A group of lawyers challenging Quebec’s new language law marked their first legal victory against the legislation, as a judge temporarily suspended a provision requiring English court documents to be translated into French. The lawyers challenging the sections of the law argued that the translation requirement violates sections of the 1867 Constitution Act that guarantee access to the courts in both official languages.

Adopted in May of this year, Bill 96 seeks to protect the French language in Quebec by increasing its use in shops, workplaces, schools, and the legal system.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Chantal Corriveau ruled that the sections of Bill 96 that require corporations to pay a certified translator to produce French versions of legal documents could prevent some English-speaking organizations from accessing justice through the courts. In a written judgment, Corriveau said the rule could cause delays and result in expenses that could hurt small and medium-sized businesses.

“The evidence demonstrates a serious risk that, in these cases, certain legal persons will not be able to assert their rights before the courts in a timely manner, or will be forced to do so in a language other than the official language which they and their lawyers master the best and which they identify as their own,” Corriveau wrote.

A spokesperson for Quebec’s Minister of the French Language Simon Jolin-Barrette said in a statement that his office was analyzing the ruling.

“Let us not forget that the provisions in this case are intended to promote better access to justice in the official and common language, French,” the statement read. “The government is firmly committed to defending this fundamental right.”

Corriveau agreed that the lawyers raised valid questions about barriers to justice, especially in urgent cases that “may require rapid intervention before the courts to avoid irreparable harm.”

Félix-Antoine Doyon, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said his clients believe in the need to protect the French language, but feel the government went “very far” with certain provisions of Bill 96. “We need to protect French, but we also need to protect access to justice, and we must remember that in a civilized society the system of justice is there for the people, and for legal persons as well.”


Spokane City Council Votes Unanimously on Language Access Resolution

Spokane City (08/02/22) Gardner, Lisa

The City Council of Spokane, Washington, voted unanimously to adopt Resolution 2022-0071. The resolution creates a policy to establish a language access plan to ensure that limited-English-proficiency (LEP) residents have access to the city’s services, information, civic processes, and interpreting and translation services.

“Language access is a critical component of equal access to local government,” said Council Member Michael Cathcart, who co-sponsored the resolution with Council Member Betsy Wilkerson. “Effective communication and engagement allow residents to feel comfortable talking to local government staff across all departments and elected officials. This resolution opens the door for greater engagement with our entire community.”

According to a 2020 five-year community survey, 16,732 Spokane residents speak a language other than English. The Spokane Public School District stated that 80 languages are spoken in its public schools.

Through the resolution, the Office of Civil Rights, Equity, and Inclusion is encouraged to convene representatives from key departments to evaluate a proposed language access program and determine how to advance its implementation.

“Implementing the Language Access Program is critical, as the number of Spokane residents speaking a language other than English has grown by 9% since 2010,” said Wilkerson. “The data shows us the need and that access to city programs and services is a fundamental right to residents.”

“Immigrants and refugees continue to contribute to our city’s prosperity,” said City Council Equity and Inclusion Initiatives Manager Alex Gibilisco. “Establishing a language access program for the city allows residents to fully engage without language becoming a barrier to their success in our community.”


In Florida, Broward Schools Set Out to Correct Spanish Translation Mishap on Ballot

South Florida Sun Sentinel (08/11/22) Travis, Scott

With voting already underway in Florida’s August 23 election, officials in a county where about one in four voters is Hispanic are scrambling to fix the inaccurate Spanish translation of a question on the ballot about a proposed school tax.

The Broward School District—the nation’s sixth largest, serving 271,517 students—is asking voters to double the tax rate to help cover the costs of raising teacher salaries, hiring additional security staff, and strengthening mental health programs.

The proposal would increase the school tax from one half a “mill” to a full mill. [A “mill” refers to the millage rate, or the amount of property value used to calculate local property taxes.] But the Spanish version of that question translated “one mill” into “one million” and said the funding would pay for an administrative person who oversees resources, not for school security officers. It also incorrectly translated “essential instruction” as “essential expenditures.”

The inaccuracies were made public when a Spanish-speaking voter contacted the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

The school district sent a new translation to the Broward Supervisor of Elections Office. The revision will be posted at polling locations and early voting sites, and it will also appear in future vote-by-mail ballots.

“The Supervisor of Elections Office has also placed the information on its website. The district will share the notification through all its distribution channels to ensure the public is informed about the revision,” said District Spokesperson Keyla Concepción. “The district appreciates the collaboration with the Supervisor of Elections Office in clarifying the Spanish version of the referendum question as stated in the ballot.”


Entertainment for Everyone: How Idaho Theaters Are Accommodating Viewers with Disabilities

Boise State Public Radio (ID) (07/29/22) Severance, Andrew

Stages, cinemas, and other theatrical venues in Idaho are making entertainment more accessible to viewers with disabilities through measures like subtitles and interpreters.

“We’ve had several deaf people say it makes such a difference that they continue to be engaged in different ways, and they really appreciate that thoughtfulness,” said LaVona Andrew, coordinator of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s “Signing Shakespeare” program. Accessibility features are an established staple of large production houses, but Andrew said their expansion to smaller venues is a recent development.

The festival added real-time captioning to its theater four years ago, and it’s currently working to bring sign language interpreters and real-time captioning to all its shows. This isn’t always possible due to the pandemic, staff shortages, and challenging seating arrangements.

The theater’s recent run of the musical Ain’t Misbehavin’ underscored this problem. “We didn’t have the capacity to do an interpretive performance after because we had already filled up the sections that we would normally hold so that our deaf and hard of hearing audience could see the interpreters and really enjoy that experience,” said Hannah Read Newbill, the festival’s marketing director.

Title III of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act mandates that theaters make an effort to accommodate deaf, hard of hearing, blind, and visually impaired attendees. Although most venues satisfy this mandate, few equalize the experience.

“Often, deaf and hard of hearing access is an afterthought,” said Steve Snow, executive director of the Idaho Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. “I think the industry, in general, doesn’t realize that access is not universal and that they actually have to put thought into it.”

Older plays, where early English doesn’t exactly translate into modern sign language, are particularly challenging. Audiences also often request services like interpreters or captioning with short notice. “Theaters have to seek out those resources, prepare a script, and give the interpreters time to prepare,” Snow said.

“The deaf community loves being involved in the arts, just as any hearing community member would,” Snow said. “I believe that if it’s accessible to one part of the community, it should be accessible to all.”

ATA News

ATA Supports Interpreters Seeking Fair Pay in Nevada

ATA has written to Nevada’s Court Administration Office of the Eighth Judicial District Court in support of fair compensation for freelance interpreters working in Clark County courts.

Read ATA’s letter to Nevada Court Administration Office.

The county’s compensation schedule for interpreting services is currently lower than pre-2010 rates and has only been nominally updated since July 2014. In addition to supporting an increase in compensation appropriate to the professional skills of its interpreter workforce, ATA warned the court that if it continues to offer rates below those of courts in neighboring jurisdictions, certified interpreters may choose to work elsewhere, and the gap would likely be filled by non-professional practitioners. This would result in a decrease of available court-certified interpreters and, in turn, compromise due process. Such a shift away from court-certified linguists would also lead to lower quality services and raise the risk of exposure to language access violations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Proposes New Rule on Section 1557

On August 4, 2022 the Department of Health and Human Services issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to revise the regulations of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Section 1557 prohibits discrimination in health care on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

Why should translators and interpreters care about ACA’s Section 1557?
Because Section 1557 includes guarantees for language access in health care.

What’s changed in the proposed revision?
Regulations for language access in health care under Section 1557 were significantly weakened after 2016. For example, health care providers were not required to post notices informing patients of their language access rights. The proposed revisions will reverse some of the recent changes in addition to adding new requirements that strengthen language access in general.

Quick Summary of Changes
The new rule restores a number of provisions removed after 2016, including adding back:
  • definitions of language assistance services, limited-English-proficient individual, qualified interpreter, qualified translator, qualified bilingual/multilingual staff
  • a requirement to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to LEP individuals
  • standards for video remote interpreting
  • having a designated individual at covered entities to coordinate compliance
The new rule adds several regulations to expand language access coverage in health care, including:
  • a definition of “machine translation” and a requirement that when machine translation is used for critical text, the translation must be reviewed by a qualified human translator
  • extending Section 1557 regulations to Medicare Part B
  • establishing requirements for staff training
How did this happen?
This rule is the result of more than two years of advocacy by a broad coalition, led by the National Health Law Program and including the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights, UNIDOS-US, the American Translators Association, and the Association of Language Companies.

What happens next?
The comment period is open until October 3. Watch for a detailed analysis by the National Health Law Program (NHeLP), including a template to use for comments and a NHeLP public comment portal focused on language access.


Why Attend ATA63?

Because you are a professional.
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Because there’s no better value for the money.
Over 160 sessions, from practical skills to training strategies, across all levels of experience—no other event provides you with this much continuing education in one place, at one time!

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In the July/August Issue of The ATA Chronicle

Is Coaching Worth the Investment for Freelance Translators?
Entrepreneurship comes with many inherent challenges, and freelancers tend to face them alone. While there’s a lot you can do on your own, at some point you’ll probably need to look outside yourself for new ideas and solutions. Here’s how hiring a coach can help your T&I business. (Ingrid Holm)

Is the Pen Mightier than the Sword, or How Much Do Words Really Matter?
In recent years, people have become more aware of how language, and specifically inappropriate terms, further sustain inequalities. While replacing outdated terminology with new, more appropriate, and inclusive words seems straightforward enough and can solve concerns around racist, ageist, or ableist terms, using inclusive language to remove inequalities doesn’t stop there. (Isabell Otterbein)

Translators and Interpreters Working Together to Create a National Code of Ethics for Educational K-12 Settings
After years of borrowing from other fields of specialization, translators and interpreters working in K-12 educational settings are coming together to create a code of ethics and standards of practice that takes into account the reality of this environment and how multiple interpreting and translation specializations converge in this space. Find out how a multi-state team of professionals has taken the lead in a consensus-based approach to standardize practice and advance the recognition of the role of practicing professionals in this field. (Loana A. Denis)

QuickTips: Get Started on a Style Guide Now!
Compiling a style guide is essential for translation and localization, but who has time to do it? Find out how creating QuickTips could help you address style and terminology issues right away. (Mónica Adler, Carolina Torres Spencer)

Collaborating with Self-Published Authors: Another Option for Literary Translation
Can you make money working with self-published authors? Yes! Will you make as much per word as you would if you were translating a chemical patent or financial report? No, probably not, but it can still be worthwhile. (Beth Smith)

How I Went from Translator to Subtitler in Just a Few Months: Tips to Start You on Your Way
The pandemic gave me something I desperately needed: a large chunk of time and a good reason to diversify my service offerings. Here’s an outline of the four steps I followed to save my business and quickly transition from translator to subtitler. (Molly Yurick)

Access to The ATA Chronicle’s searchable archives is available online! And don’t forget to check out the latest issue of the Chronicle Online.
News summaries © copyright 2022 Smithbucklin

August 16, 2022

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