Language Access
Tuyet Duong, Margarita Araiza  -  2016/3/16
http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ovcproviderforum
 
 
Are there any online trainings you recommend that can help our team learn more about working with victims who are deaf or hard of hearing?
 
1.  Tuyet Duong
 We have signed a three-year cooperative agreement with the Vera Institute for Justice and its partners, including Advocacy Services for Abused Deaf Victims (ASADV), to create an innovative training curriculum that integrates language assistance in the dual context of limited English proficient (LEP), Deaf, and Hard of hearing communities. ASADV’s website has some create educational resources and interesting Vlogs to engage the public about its approach regarding Deaf and HOH victims, specifically critical community accountability aspects of working with this population: http://asadv.org/resources/blogs-vlogs/.
 
2.  Tuyet Duong
 OVC’s Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC) provides Training By Request regarding Crime Victims with Disabilities, catalog listing is found here: https://www.ovcttac.gov/views/TrainingMaterials/dspTrainingCatalog.cfm.
 
3.  Tuyet Duong
 Our technical assistance provider, Vera Institute for Justice, has put out a great policy brief on planning for Deaf and hard of hearing survivors of crime. It includes examples of issues that Deaf encounter, including the unique abuse they endure. There are great policy recommendations and tips for providers and organizations. http://www.vera.org/pubs/special/serving-deaf-survivors-domestic-sexual-violence. Safety planning considerations for victims with disabilities, including those who are Deaf or hard of hearing are included in this great protocol developed by the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence: http://apps.americanbar.org/domviol/trainings/Interpreter/CD-Materials/safety_protocol.pdf.
 
4.  Tuyet Duong
 OVC has developed curriculum in English and Spanish on assisting crime victims with disabilities, including those who are Deaf and hard of hearing, called Supporting Crime Victims With Disabilities Curriculum (English), at https://www.ovcttac.gov/views/TrainingMaterials/dspCVDisabilitiesCurriculum_English.cfm. We also have developed a DVD for first responders assisting crime victims with disabilities, including Deaf and hard of hearing; the DVD is called Victims with Disabilities: Collaborative, Multidisciplinary First Response: Techniques for First Responders Called to Help Crime Victims Who Have Disabilities, which can be accessed at http://www.ovc.gov/library/videoclips.html#VwD_FirstResponse and here at http://www.ovc.gov/publications/infores/pdftxt/VwD_FirstResponse.pdf. Finally, while not online, OVC developed curriculum and a DVD regarding underserved victims, including Deaf and hard of hearing victims, and you can order your copy here: https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=254873.
 
 
In a legal proceeding does the victim/NOK have access to the simultaneous interpretation equipment being used for the defendant? If so, what statute addresses that issue?
 
1.  Tuyet Duong
 OJP grantees can use funds for language assistance (see http://ojp.gov/funding/Explore/SolicitationRequirements/CivilRightsRequirements.htm). Please also see National Center for State Courts (http://www.ncsc.org/languageaccess and Casa de Esperanza’s toolkit on language access in courts http://nationallatinonetwork.org/images/files/Increasing_Language_Access_in_Courts_ToolKit_Eng_FINAL.pdf.
 
2.  Tuyet Duong
 In a letter to State Court Administrators/Chief Justices (http://www.lep.gov/final_courts_ltr_081610.pdf), Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez outlined legal obligations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Executive Order 13166. Interpretation assistance must be provided to ALL LEP participating parties in a case, including the victim and defendant, and must also be provided to “non-party LEP individuals whose presence or participation is necessary”. Courts should assign equipment to each interpreter in a proceeding.
 
 
Do you recommend that we use flags on our website as visual cues to users seeking information in Spanish, Arabic, and other languages?
 
1.  Tuyet Duong
 Many multilingual websites simply use the translated word for the language (e.g. Espanol) as a way for the user to find in-language content. We do encourage universal symbols for those who are not literate in their own language, and combining the name of the language with the flag might be an innovative way to lead users to the content. However, speakers of a certain language are not always necessarily born in the country where that language is spoken. Here are some best practices from Migration Policy Institute on multilingual websites: http://www.migrationpolicy.org/programs/language-access-translation-and-interpretation-policies-and-practices/practitioners-corn-0.
 
2.  M. Araiza
 Flags would be a great idea. In my department we have language identification guide cards with flags and a statement that says, "I speak ..." And has that statement written in the language that corresponds with the flag. This way the person can either read the statement or look at the flag and point to which one pertains to them. It helps because we serve a large population of undereducated clientele.
 
 
What are the pros and cons of having a TTY device? I can't recall the last time we had a conversation on our TTY line
 
1.  Tuyet Duong
 The ADA requires that our federally assisted organizations must provide auxiliary aids and services when needed to communicate effectively with people who have communication disabilities; a nuance of this standard is that the Deaf or hard of hearing individual can communicate with the auxiliary aid or service of his or her choice. TTY is just one method, and drawbacks include both sides having to obtain a device, the requirement that both sides must be able to type, resulting in potential delays. It is critical to provide a variety of options, including video phone, video calls with a professional sign language interpreter, texting abilities, email, and other virtual technologies now available.
 
 
Margarita, what type of training does your court do to certify staff in Language Access?
 
1.  Tuyet Duong
 The National Center for State Courts has a great training site with resources here: http://www.ncsc.org/languageaccess. The National Association for Judicial Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT) is also a leader and convenor for court interpreters across the nation, and their website offers great resources, training, and other position papers on different aspects of interpretation: http://www.najit.org/index.php.
 
2.  M. Araiza
 In order to be certified LAS an employee must take a web based course through the University of New Mexico in Los Alamos. The program certifies employees who are native speakers of a language. Right now the program is limited to Spanish and Navajo Speaking employees. Additionally, the certified employee has to participate in for continuing education webinars a year or attend the yearly symposium, in order to maintain certification.
 
 
In situations where geography complicates things for victims not being immediate to translation, could Skype communication be held (non-court related) for deaf or victim conferencing?
 
1.  Tuyet Duong
 Regarding non-court but court-related matters, court interpretation coordinators should conduct a legal analysis and thoughtful determination whether the interaction is lengthy enough, contains potential evidentiary communications, and are vital enough to retain Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDIs) in person. If the interaction is brief and not complex and does not have legal implications, then Video Remote Interpretation (VRI) can be employed. The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) has a standard practice paper on VRI http://rid.org/about-interpreting/standard-practice-papers/ , but does not provide for Skype mechanisms. However, most court experts regarding Deaf and HOH recommend further standards development regarding technology for court transactions.
 
2.  Tuyet Duong
 The ADA requires that state and local entities give primary consideration to the Deaf or Hard of hearing individual’s choice of auxiliary aid or service to ensure effective communication, which could include FaceTime, videophone, virtual interpretation, text, e-mail, social media, and other handheld devices – as these options reflect technology and communication norms of this community. Skype is a program that can potentially facilitate effective communications, especially if the Deaf or HOH chooses that as his or her auxiliary aid. A determination should be made whether Skype and utilizing interpreters via Skype would fulfill the standard of effective communication in the context of the interaction, whether in a mental health, legal, court, or medical setting.
 
 
What steps do you take to ensure that all staff are aware of language access policies and know what to do when engaging with non-english speakers? Do you include a yearly refresher training, make "I speak ..." cards available to all staff, etc.?
 
1.  Tuyet Duong
 Finally, administrators and leaders should incorporate serving LEP, Deaf, and hard of hearing into their performance measures, performance plans, and organizational performance evaluations. These are great ways to keep the field accountable and up to speed on their professional development responsibilities as the LEP demographic continues to expand.
 
2.  Tuyet Duong
 Compliance reviews still show that law enforcement still struggle to identify speakers of foreign languages, and handy tools such as this I Speak flashcard can assist public safety professionals: http://www.lep.gov/ISpeakCards2004.pdf. Finally, different technologies can be used in first interactions with victims and survivors, and this article gives an interesting comparison of interpretation devices as we need to keep up with new technology: https://www.justnet.org/pdf/NothlostFall03.pdf. Organizations often conduct one-time language access trainings, and often overlook new employees and other staff who interact with the LEP public. We encourage organizations to develop a mindset of continuous learning when it comes to serving LEP communities!
 
3.  Tuyet Duong
 Refresher trainings can incorporate cultural competency modules, trauma-informed care, and community-based components in their programming to ensure they take into account holistic issues to integrate into language access. There are new and great resources online for how to identify LEP individuals and work with interpreters developed every year. For federal audiences or those conducting advocacy, the following training videos were recently developed by the Federal Interagency Working Group on Language Access: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vv3IBZkUgwg&feature=youtu.be and http://www.lep.gov/video/video.html.
 
4.  Tuyet Duong
 Organizations should create a language access plan, which provides a protocol or standard operating procedure for how they will serve limited English proficient (LEP) individuals. The plan should have a data collection mechanism and a method for evaluating language services. Staff should be trained on this plan and have a refresher each year. The refresher training should be developed utilizing client feedback, evaluation data of language services, community feedback on translations, and other stakeholder feedback regarding implementation of the language access plan.
 
5.  M. Araiza
 Each department has a set of "I speak.." cards available. It is also part of our training by human resources when employment begins. It is also listed on our website and since Language Access certified employees have to be available throughout the Court House, each department has a printout of all of the LAS employees, along with our extension and the name of our supervisor so that we can be reached, if needed. All of us that are LAS have to receive 4 continuing education credits every year. We either attend a yearly symposium or participate in monthly webinars to receive credit. For non-LAS employees there is no training and supervisors are responsible for making sure their staff knows.
 
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