Center will link qualified interpreters with private and public entities throughout state
September 15, 2007
"The ability to understand and be understood is fundamental to everything from education and commerce to medical care and justice delivery," said Stephanie Cole, Administrative Director of the Alaska Court System. "The Language Interpreter Center provides a vital service to all who endeavor to ensure that Alaskans are treated fairly and equally."
The 2000 Census estimates 37 percent of Alaskans speak English less than "very well." The most common languages encountered by businesses and service organizations in Alaska are Spanish, Yupik, Russian, Tagalog, Korean, Ukrainian and Inupiaq, according to the Alaska Court System: Oral Language Needs Assessment Project Survey 2004.
Prior to the establishment of the Language Interpreter Center, there was no comprehensive system for identifying qualified interpreters andlinking them to those in need of their services. In addition, there were too few qualified language interpreters in the state, no programs for providing necessary training, and no system for screening, testing and certifying qualified interpreters.
The Language Interpreter Center is a collaborative, multi-agency, public-private effort to create a pool of qualified language interpreters for public and private entities statewide.
The Language Interpreter Center open house will be held 4:00 - 7:00 pm on Friday, Sept. 21, 2007 at 431 W. Seventh Ave., #208, in Anchorage.
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