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ATA curates articles from around the world as a service for members. ATA members receive these articles in Newsbriefs, an e-newsletter. See full issues of Newsbriefs.

Federal Case Involving Linguist Recruiters Dismissed

July 19, 2021

A federal judge in Virginia has dismissed indictments against six linguistic recruiters accused of participating in a scheme to defraud the U.S. Army by providing unqualified interpreters under a $703 million contract, finding the nine-year delay before the indictment had violated their due process rights. U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said in court that she…

Biden Defends Afghan Pullout, Sets Evacuation for Interpreters

July 19, 2021

President Biden defended the U.S. military pullout from Afghanistan, claiming the U.S. met goals outlined 20 years ago, while pledging that his administration would evacuate thousands of Afghan interpreters from the country in August. “I’m very encouraged by President Biden’s efforts to get our Afghan allies out of harm’s way, but I remain deeply concerned…

California Fines Los Angeles County Superior Court for Safety Violations during Pandemic

July 19, 2021

After COVID-19 outbreaks and the deaths of several court interpreters who worked in Los Angeles County courthouses, California’s Division of Occupational Health and Safety (Cal/OSHA) plans to fine the local court system more than $25,000 for multiple violations. In a notice to the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Cal/OSHA identified at least three health and…

In Virginia, Language a Barrier for Latino Victims of Violence Seeking Help

June 18, 2021

In Virginia, language continues to be a barrier for Latino victims of violence in need of assistance. A Richmond nonprofit is seeking to change that. The Latinos in Virginia Empowerment Center (LIVE Center), a nonprofit established in 2008 to link Spanish speakers with available resources, has launched the state’s first interpreter bank in the Richmond…

U.S. Department of Justice Settles with Pennsylvania City over Language Barriers to Spanish-Speaking Residents

June 18, 2021

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has reached a settlement with a Pennsylvania police department after launching a civil rights investigation into potential barriers for Spanish-speaking residents. The Hazelton City Police Department will be required to update its operating procedures to include “appropriate language assistance” for non-English speakers and also print forms and notices in…

Hundreds More Afghans and Their Families to be Allowed to Settle in U.K.

June 18, 2021

Plans to rapidly relocate hundreds more Afghans who worked for the British military and U.K. government, mostly as interpreters, have been announced. Including family members, more than 3,000 Afghans are expected to be allowed to settle in the U.K., joining 1,300 who have already done so. The decision comes amid fears for their safety as…

Civil Rights Complaint Filed over Discriminatory Provision of COVID-19 Services to Persons with Limited English Proficiency

May 11, 2021

The National Health Law Program (NHeLP) has filed a complaint with multiple U.S. federal agencies contending that federal, state, and local agencies have failed to provide meaningful access to COVID-19 services to individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP). The complaint documents numerous cases of English-only assistance, including in New York City where signage and intake…

Virginia First State to Offer ASL Video Chats for COVID-19 Call Center

May 3, 2021

Virginia has become the first state to provide real-time video chat access to its COVID-19 information call center for users of American Sign Language (ASL). The mission of the Vaccine Call Center for American Sign Language Support, a face-to-face service for the deaf and hard of hearing, is to provide equal access to state assistance…

Upcoming CBS Sitcom The United States of Al Faces Backlash over Afghan Representation

April 2, 2021

The trailer for the upcoming CBS sitcom The United States of Al is being criticized for the casting and portrayal of a U.S. military interpreter from Afghanistan. Set to premiere April 1, the sitcom centers on the friendship between Riley, a Marine veteran struggling to adjust after returning home to Ohio, and his former interpreter,…

Study Finds Google Translate Still Isn’t Good Enough for Medical Instructions

April 2, 2021

According to a new study by researchers from the University of California Los Angeles Medical Center and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, Google Translate still isn’t reliable enough to use for medical instructions for people who don’t speak English. The new study evaluated 400 emergency department discharge instructions translated by Google…

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