Newsbriefs: March 1, 2023

Did You Forget to Renew Your ATA Membership?

It’s never too late to renew! Just click here and renew now. And thank you for your membership in 2022. We look forward to serving you in 2023.

ATA Membership Pays for Itself!
“I joined ATA and set up my online profile. A couple of months later, a client in Virginia contacted me to interpret at a conference. Membership in ATA paid for itself in just one job.” ~ Maria B

“My ATA directory listing has served me very well. It is especially gratifying to pick up a few big interpreting jobs from new out-of-state clients who find me in the directory looking for my particular skill set and location. Typically, just one of these can easily triple or quadruple my yearly ATA membership investment!” ~ Tony G.

“At the ATA 58th Annual Conference, I gave a presentation on project management, and somebody in the audience ended up giving me a full-time job teaching.” ~ Alaina B.

“I have made dozens of very productive connections through ATA that I can attribute literally thousands of dollars to since I joined five years ago. If I did it all over again, I just would have joined sooner.” ~ Ben K.



Industry News

Canada Settles $2 Billion Suit over ‘Cultural Genocide’ at Residential Schools

The New York Times (NY) (02/21/23) Austen, Ian

Canada has agreed to pay $2.8 billion Canadian dollars (about $2 billion U.S.) to settle the latest in a series of lawsuits seeking reparations for the harm done to Indigenous people through a system of mandatory residential schools that a national commission called “cultural genocide.”

The new settlement resolves a class action brought in 2012 by 325 First Nations that sought compensation for the erosion of their cultures and languages.

Thousands of Indigenous students educated at about 130 residential schools from the 19th century through the 1990s were forbidden, sometimes through coercive violence, from speaking their ancestral languages and practicing their traditions.

During court proceedings, survivors testified about the deaths of their classmates at the schools, the abuse they suffered, and the poorly built, unsanitary facilities. In many cases, children were removed from their families by force and sent to the schools, which were often run by churches.

In 2021, Canadians were shocked by evidence of unmarked graves containing the remains of 215 former students on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. Evidence of the graves was discovered using ground penetrating radar. Subsequent searches at other school sites have found similar possible burial sites. Thousands of students are believed to have died at the schools from disease, malnutrition, neglect, accidents, fires, and violence.

The new agreement will be the fifth major legal settlement related to the schools since a 2006 agreement provided compensation to former students and established a National Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The commission examined the educational system, heard testimony from former students, and issued a long list of recommendations that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to implement.

“The residential school settlement left a lot of unfinished business,” Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, said in reference to the 2006 agreement. “One part of that was the very legitimate argument by the plaintiffs that there was a collective type of damage to language, culture, and heritage, and that the devastation was caused by successive government policies.”

The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, which announced the discovery of the remains at the Kamloops Indian Residential School site in 2021, is among the parties to the current lawsuit.

“Canada spent over 100 years trying to destroy our languages and cultures through residential schools,” said Kúkpi7, or Chief, Rosanne Casimir of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc. “It is going to take incredible efforts by our nations to restore our languages and culture—this settlement gives nations the resources and tools needed to make a good start.”

Under the agreement, the Canadian government will place the settlement into a trust fund that Indigenous communities can use for educational, cultural, and language programs. It will also be used to develop projects to support former students and help them in “reconnecting with their heritage,” the government said in a statement.


State Health Officials in Michigan Establish Bilingual Hotline for Seasonal Workers

CBS Detroit (MI) (02/21/23) Powers, Sara

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has launched a new bilingual hotline for the state’s migrant workers and their families.

Individuals can reach the MDHHS Farmworker Hotline by calling the toll-free number 1-833-SIAYUDA (1-833-742-9832). (Si ayuda means “yes help” or “yes assistance” in Spanish.)

The purpose of the hotline is for migrant workers to have access to health-related matters, such as information about the COVID-19 vaccine. The hotline is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to “Fair Housing Access, Affordability, and Quality for Michigan Farmworkers During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond,” a study conducted by the University of Michigan, over two-thirds of the state’s 90,000 migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families are limited English proficient.

“We aim to make health care in Michigan client-centered, which includes providing information in the person’s primary language when available to ensure timely health services,” said Dwayne Haywood, senior deputy director of the MDHHS Economic Stability Administration. “The Farmworker Hotline is a tool to help keep farmworkers healthy and reduce health-related work absences that could result in loss of earnings needed to support their families.”

According to the MDHHS, the hotline will be answered by its Migrant Affairs staff, who are fluent in English and Spanish. They will answer questions about vaccines and connect farmworkers to vaccine clinics and resources, make referrals to local offices, and assist them with any other health-related information. An interpreting service will be available for information in languages other than English and Spanish.

“Ultimately, the goal of the MDHHS Farmworker Hotline is to help Michigan provide bilingual residents with tools to prevent disease, improve health outcomes, and increase well-being,” read a statement issued by the MDHHS. “Hotline information distribution is being provided to all Michigan local offices serving migrant and seasonal farmworkers, partner agencies, and through social media.”


Medical Interpreter Grateful for Federal DACA Immigration Status

Wisconsin State Journal (WI) (02/04/23) Wahlberg, David

Rodolfo Osuna Leon, a certified medical interpreter at University of Wisconsin Health, can work thanks to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status he has held since 2012.

Osuna Leon moved with his family from the Mexican resort town of Mazatlán to the Madison, Wisconsin, area 20 years ago. He helps Spanish-speaking patients engage in conversations with health care providers. Osuna Leon took medical interpreting classes and obtained national certification. He first worked as a freelancer and then moved on to staff interpreter.

When asked what he finds most rewarding as a medical interpreter, Osuna Leon said, “I’m relieved that when a patient goes through the clinic, they can feel more comfortable expressing everything that they need to express. With the providers, I can help them explain everything in detail, with no barriers with language or technology. I can see body language and tell when something’s not clear.”

The most challenging aspect of the job for him is when he’s called on to interpret difficult news, conversations, and diagnoses. “Sometimes families have to stay in the hospital for a long time. Sometimes you get too involved with the patients, so you care quite a bit for them.”

Osuna Leon said medical jargon can also be confusing. “We always ask for clarification so the provider can explain in different terms for the patient to make sure everything is clear.”

DACA enrollees must renew their status every two years, but the federal program faces an uncertain future after a federal appeals court ruled it illegal in October. “If I didn’t have DACA status, I couldn’t continue to be a medical interpreter. I’d lose my driver’s license,” Osuna Leon said. “It would make things very difficult. At the same time, I’m always at risk of getting deported. My kids are American citizens.”

Osuna Leon said he is frustrated by a lack of action regarding the national debate over immigration. “There’s a lot of work to be done [by the government], but other issues come up and it just gets put under the rug. It seems like there’s never a solution for it. I’ve had DACA for more than 10 years,” he said. “I’d like to have the opportunity to have a path to citizenship.”


CHOP Study Finds Multidisciplinary Approach Best when Assisting Limited-English-Proficient Families

EurekAlert! (DC) (02/16/23)

Researchers from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have outlined a multidisciplinary approach for assisting limited-English-proficient families (LEP) in a study published in the journal Pediatrics.

LEP patients face numerous challenges, including an increased risk of adverse events due to potential medication error, as well prolonged or repeat visits to the emergency department. When treating children, the language needs of both the patient and the caregiver must be met, adding further challenges to delivering the best care possible.

Medical interpreters play a crucial role in ensuring that LEP patients are properly treated, yet many caregivers don’t realize this service is available to them. A review estimated that an interpreter was used in only about 2.5% of patient emergency department encounters, though census data suggests that about 10% of patients in CHOP’s region have at least one LEP parent.

“The data we had prior to this study suggested there was underrecognition of the language needs in our emergency department,” said study author Katherine Gupta, an attending physician in CHOP’s emergency department. “We wanted to improve early identification of patients and caregivers who could benefit from an interpreter and make sure those services were properly tracked in health records so we could continue to meet their language needs.”

The research team identified areas that could help improve the emergency department workflow for LEP patients and introduced a series of interventions to increase the identification of language needs and offer interpreters as needed. These processes included a screening question during nursing triage, an icon on the emergency department track board that helps communicate language needs to the emergency department staff, and alerts for electronic health records.

After implementing these measures for six months, the team observed several noticeable improvements in identifying language needs in the emergency department. Identification rates for LEP patients during nursing triage increased from 60% to 77%, interpreter utilization increased from 77% to 86%, and proper documentation of interpreter use increased from 38% to 73%.

“By implementing the methods used in this study, we have an opportunity to obtain more reliable metrics on LEP patients and investigate the true extent of language-based disparities in care,” said Joseph Zorc, an attending physician in the emergency department and director of Emergency Information Systems at CHOP. “Our staff has become keenly aware of the language needs during emergency department visits, and there is growing interest in addressing LEP issues and the feasibility of dedicated in-person interpreters specifically assigned to emergency department cases.”


The ATA Podcast
Now Playing! Episode 83: The ATA Mentoring Program

ATA News

An English-Spanish Medical Translation Masterclass with Pablo Mugüerza

Presenter: Pablo Mugüerza
Dates: March 6 and March 13, 2023
Time: 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. U.S. ET
Duration: 2 hours each
Language: Spanish
Level: All
CE Point(s): 4 ATA-approved

Presented in Spanish. Limited to 40 attendees!

Learn how to recognize and handle English-Spanish machine translation errors in medical documents!

English sentences from the most common documents in medical translation, their translations generated by machine translation, and the speaker’s proposed translations will be presented in turn. You will learn how to recognize the errors and improve the translations.

Before the workshop, you will be provided with the English sentences and phrases so you can prepare to participate! The presenter will encourage all attendees to share suggestions, comments, and criticisms of both the machine and human translations as he explains medical or linguistic concepts that come up.

You will learn to:
  1. Recognize translation problems which you have not recognized in the past.
  2. Detect machine translation errors that do not appear to be errors.
  3. Handle the differences between translating for patients and translating for health care professionals.
  4. Deal with the different variants of medical Spanish, including Spanish spoken in Spain.
  5. Understand how cultural differences impact medical translators.
  6. Use medical translation tools, such as dictionaries and glossaries, among others.
  7. Understand specific difficulties in medical documents.
  8. Gain experience in translation of medical terms, phrases, and expressions that are almost always problematic and that machine translation does not solve.
Register now! ATA Member $180 | Non-Member $240


ATA Elections 2023: Call for Nominations

The Nominating and Leadership Development Committee is currently accepting nominations to fill the following positions:
  • Officers: president-elect, secretary, and treasurer positions (each a two-year term)
  • Directors: three director positions (each a three-year term)
Elections will be held at the Annual Meeting of Voting Members during ATA’s 64th Annual Conference in Miami, October 25-28, 2023!

Alert – If you submitted your nomination, you should have immediately received a confirmation of your submission. If you did not receive confirmation of your submission, please resubmit. Should you have any problems getting confirmation, please contact

Submitting Your Nomination
Any ATA member may submit a nomination. Self-nominations are also permitted and encouraged.

Nominations should be submitted as soon as possible so that the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee can fully consider proposed candidates.

Reminder Nominations must be received by March 15, 2023.

ATA’s success depends on the leadership of its officers and directors. That leadership begins with nominations like yours. Click here to start.


Episode 83: The ATA Mentoring Program

How can ATA help you improve your business practices? Grow your income? Expand into a new specialization? Market to direct clients? It’s called the ATA Mentoring Program, and it’s a fantastic benefit of your ATA membership! Take a minute to listen in and learn more as The ATA Podcast Co-Host Andie Ho sits down with the program’s co-chair Tony Guerra. From how to apply and who can apply to what the matching process is all about and why the program is “mentee-driven”—you’ll get the full rundown on a great way to tap into the unique talent and experience of successful translators and interpreters. And don’t miss finding out how you can give back to the profession as a mentor. This program really has something for everyone, and Episode 83 explains it all!

Show Notes:
Join ATAATA School Outreach ContestEpisode 53: How ATA School Outreach WorksATA 2023 Elections: Call for NominationsThe ATA Podcast Archive ATA Mentoring ProgramATA Mentoring Experience VideoATA’s 64th Annual Conference | Audio Production: Derek Platts

Please send comments, questions, or requests about this podcast to


ATA Opposes Oregon Senate Bill 584

ATA has written to the Oregon State Senate Committee on Health Care to express opposition to Senate Bill 584. The bill would task the Oregon Health Authority with setting up a web-based platform for scheduling and paying health care interpreters in Oregon.

The intentions of this bill to address low rates and working conditions of interpreters in Oregon are laudable, and ATA supports efforts, especially interpreter-led efforts, to earn rates commensurate with the experience, expertise, high-risk, and traumatic nature of health care interpreters’ work. However, as written, this bill could create a situation that puts limited English proficient (LEP) individuals at risk by making it more difficult to access interpreting services to which they are entitled by the Civil Rights Act.

Read ATA’s letter to the Oregon State Senate Committee on Health Care.

What Is ATA Advocacy?
Educating government officials and the public about the role of translators, interpreters, and language access in our society is a central part of ATA’s mission. In 2022, ATA’s advocacy campaigns included supporting interpreters seeking fair pay in Nevada, working with a coalition to restore language access rights in the Affordable Care Act, warning the Santa Maria City Council (California) about the risks of unqualified interpreting services, advising Oregon that its plan to require credentialed interpreters is flawed, and urging the Department of Labor to reconsider its proposed changes to the classification of independent contractors.

Watch the free webinar Successful Advocacy for Translators and Interpreters to learn how you can make your voice heard, and be sure to bookmark ATA’s Advocacy and Outreach web page.


Make This the Year You Enter ATA’s School Outreach Contest!

There’s no time like the present to start planning a School Outreach presentation and contest entry!

Profile of ATA’s 2022 School Outreach Contest Winner
ATA-certified English>Spanish translator Aída Carrazco won the 2022 ATA School Outreach Contest. She received a free registration to ATA’s 63rd Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California, for submitting a story and photo she took with students during her interactive presentation to her son’s classroom at Instituto Thomas Jefferson in Zapopan, Mexico. Read Aída’s profile in The ATA Chronicle and watch the video!

How to Enter the Contest
Share your career story with any educational-level or age group of students, then submit a summary of your experience along with a photo of your presentation—a screenshot works just fine if you presented virtually. Check out these tips for taking the winning shot!

And be sure to listen to Episode 53 of The ATA Podcast to learn more about the program and all the resources ATA has at the ready for putting together a presentation. The deadline for the 2023 contest is July 31.


Update from ATA Headquarters

As we strive to improve your membership experience, we are forging new roots to enhance member benefits. One major undertaking is the overhaul of our membership database to improve the quality of our knowledge management systems.

For a short time you may experience some delays in response to inquiries. Please know this is temporary as we process renewals and other membership requests simultaneously.

The ATA Headquarters staff is committed to growing and improving our processes to further enhance our association in 2023, and we thank you for your support and patience. Should you have questions or concerns, please email


In the January/February Issue of The ATA Chronicle

Call for Nominations: ATA Officers and Directors
Do you know someone who would make a good potential candidate for ATA’s Board of Directors? If so, ATA’s Nominating and Leadership Development Committee would like to hear from you. Any ATA member may make a nomination. Here’s your chance to help shape the future of the Association!

What Does “Trans” Mean? Why Does the LGBT Acronym Keep Changing? Why Do I Need to Know this Anyway?
The terminology of the LGBTQIA+ community is ever evolving and identities are expanding, so we need to keep up with all the changes. Just as we wouldn’t do an assignment on climate change without researching how to say solar panels or wind farms in our language pairs, neither should we neglect to know the correct LGBTQIA+ terminology for when, not if, we encounter it in our professional lives.

Interpreting for Infant and Pregnancy Loss
Routine obstetric visits are generally predictable and short. However, when pregnancy complications arise, medical interpreters need to be prepared to interpret accurately and completely for limited-English-proficient patients in this tragic situation.

Protect Yourself: How to Prevent Lawyers from Blaming You for Depositions Gone Wrong
Here are five key tips that, when utilized correctly, will help protect your image as a professional interpreter in front of attorneys and clients.

2022 Honors and Awards Recipients
ATA and the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation present annual and biennial awards to encourage, reward, and publicize the outstanding work being done by both seasoned professionals and students of our craft.

Profile of ATA’s 2022 School Outreach Contest Winner: Aída Carrazco
When Aída Carrazco, the 2022 ATA School Outreach Contest winner, gave her presentation to her son’s fifth grade class in March 2022, kids were just going back to school after 16 months of studying from home. That meant she faced a unique challenge: students weren’t used to being in the classroom. Aída was determined to make sure she kept their attention by making her presentation extra fun!

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 2023 Smithbucklin

March 1, 2023

Have you ever used the model services agreements and contracts offered on ATA’s website?

See the Results!

Previous Poll Results

Which of ATA’s Client Outreach materials have you used in the past 5 years?

5% = Slides for translators
0% = Slides for interpreters
5% = Both
90% = Neither

In This Issue

Not too late!
Spanish Workshop
Call for Nominations
Podcast Episode 83
Advocacy in Oregon
School Outreach
Headquarters Update
The ATA Chronicle

ATA Members Only

Free ATA Webinar!
Interpreting Insults from Spanish into Your Target Language
Click to watch!

ATA Workshop

An English-Spanish Medical Translation Masterclass
Mar 6 and 13 @ 12:00 p.m. ET.
Registration open

Calendar of Events

ATA 2023 Elections
Call for Nominations
Deadline: Mar 15, 2023
Learn more

An ATA Virtual Conference
Translating and Interpreting the Future
May 20 @ 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET
Registration coming soon!

ATA64 Annual Conference
Oct 25-28, 2023
Miami, Florida
Preview now!

The ATA Chronicle January/February 2023
The ATA Chronicle January/February 2023

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ATA Webinars Live and On Demand
Continuing education anywhere, anytime!

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