And the GAVEL AWARD goes to…

Janet Fasy, Deputy Court Administrator at the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Quan Pham, Executive Director of Quantum, Inc., and Osvaldo Aviles, Interpreter Program Administrator at the AOPC were recognized for their outstanding contribution to the “Court Translation Project” with the GAVEL AWARD at the meeting of the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Fairness on September 15, 2011. Congratulations!

DVTA connects with Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Affairs

On September 15th, 2011, an initial meeting between the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Affairs represented by Dr. Darlene Thompson and members of the DVTA Board took place at the Quarterly Meeting of the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Fairness. Mrs. Darlene Thompson informed the audience during the Interbranch Meeting about the difficulties the African and Caribbean population faces, such as limited access to services available to them in the City of Philadelphia and in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, their fear of the judicial system and the law enforcement and also the difficult outreach to this community which consists of members from over 35 countries where different languages and dialects are being spoken.

The DVTA Board Members Antonio Guerra and Gabriela Jenicek were invited to the Commission Meeting on October 12th, 2011, together with Osvaldo Aviles, the Interpreter Program Administrator from the Administrative Office of the PA Courts to present their ideas and suggestions in regards to the outlined problems.

Mr. Guerra as representative of DVTA, Mrs. Jenicek as independent interpreter trainer, and Mr. Aviles as the AOPC Interpreter Program Administrator recognized that the court certification program, the services DVTA offers and supportive interpreter training are services which might be beneficial to the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Affairs to support them in their efforts in these communities. The three language service professionals recommended identifying the most frequent languages and then to search within those target communities for qualified professionals who would be interested in the AOPC interpreter certification program and taking on the rewarding profession of a judiciary interpreter. Even though not the entire range of presented problems of the Mayor’s Commission can be solved through this approach, qualified and well trained interpreters for those communities and languages could serve as a great asset to improve the situation of many individuals with limited English proficiency in the court system. The AOPC certification program has a high standard and additional supportive training for those potential judiciary interpreters will be necessary and could be offered through the DVTA.

The suggestions and ideas presented were welcomed by the Chairman of the Commission Mr. Stanley Straughter. The DVTA is looking forward to a productive future cooperation with the Mayor’s Commission and its members.

Information from the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Fairness on Interpreter Services

Several DVTA Board members including Anne Connor, Maria Weir, Carlota Dalziel, Antonio Guerra and Gabriela Jenicek represented the association during the Quarterly Meeting of the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Fairness and were able to introduce the DVTA and to establish valuable connections. During this meeting, the annual report for the years 2010 and 2011 was presented which included the achievements and plans of the Interpreter Services Committee which are interesting facts for our profession.

From the Annual Report 2010-2011 of The Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Fairness – Interpreter Services Committee:

Expanding Interpreter Services

The basic fairness of the Pennsylvania court system is jeopardized if litigants with limited English proficiency do not have access to competent interpreters and other language assistance.

The Commission continues its work to improve the availability of interpreter and translation services in the Commonwealth’s courts and administrative agencies. Among last year’s initiatives, the Commission co-sponsored training for Haitian Creole interpreters with Widener University’s Legal Education Institute and the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania. In September of this year, the Commission supported a similar program for interpreters working in the Vietnamese language. Both followed the 2010 training for professionals interested in becoming certified in the Pennsylvania courts.

Also during 2010, the Interpreter Services Committee arranged for the translation of key court documents in five languages, including Vietnamese, Kmer, Russian, Spanish, and Chinese. The documents are now available on the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC) website for easy access by judicial districts [great resource for court interpreters!].

Next up? The committee is considering ways to assist the AOPC in training judicial district personnel on Act 172 interpreter-services regulations passed in 2010.

Members are also working with the Philadelphia Bar Association to assist its Language Access Task Force and are planning ongoing training for attorneys on effective use of interpreter services during litigation. The 2011 session will follow up on initial workshop for members of the Bar Association’s Family Law Section, The Philadelphia Story: The Language of Justice in Family Court.”

For more information on the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Fairness, please go to:

Save the date! Webinar – How to prepare for the National Board’s written and oral exam

10/24/2011, 12 pm Eastern Time

The National Board Director offers a step-by-step guideline on how to prepare for the National Board’s written and oral exam, which will be offered soon in five more languages. The webinar will focus on the specifics of taking the exams, including a description of what to expect when you get to the testing center, the software program, screen shots of the test setup, and more. Participating in the webinar is the best way to prepare for taking our oral exam to become a Certified Medical Interpreter, and it’s free.

 This one hour webinar is open to everyone and there’s no need to pre-register. You will need a phone line and a computer with Internet access to fully participate.
To HEAR the webinar, access the Audio portion of the meeting, use your phone:
USA Toll-Free: (877) 336-1839 ACCESS CODE: 9024911
(International or USA Caller Paid Toll: (636) 651-0008 ACCESS CODE: 9024911)
To SEE the presentation, access the Web portion of the meeting, use your computer and Internet Explorer is the most appropriate browser:
Web Meeting Address:
Meeting Number: 8773361839 ACCESS CODE: 9024911
Procedures for the audio:
1. Dial in and wait until you are added to the call
2. Put your phone on mute by pressing *6 (to un-mute press *6 again)
3. Please do not place your phone on hold during the webinar

Happy 2nd Anniversary to the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters!

On October 10th 2009, the Independent National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters launched at the IMIA conference the process of the National Board certification!  It has been only 2 years but what a great success the NBCMI has been…
  • There are now over 250 Certified Medical Interpreters (CMI’s) nationwide
  • Over 700 interpreters took the written exam
  • Soon, there will be 5 more languages ready for the oral exam: Korean, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Cantonese and Russian
  • 5 more languages are in process (Arabic, French, Haitian-Creole, Portuguese and Japanese)
  • With 600 testing sites nationwide