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: www.pa-interbranchcommission.com