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Could Your Organization Benefit from Video Remote Interpreting? Ask Yourself These Questions.

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on August 2, 2017

One in five of our neighbors here in the United States speak a language other than English at home. That’s more than 61 million people – 25 million of whom say they speak English less than well. Another 28 million Americans are deaf or hard of hearing.

The influence of these diverse audiences is enormous and growing. They are citizens, patients, and consumers. Meeting them in their preferred language builds loyalty, achieves compliance, and increases staff productivity while reducing expenses. The opportunities are clear, but the challenge is that – with hundreds of languages spoken in America today – it is very difficult for any organization to meet this demand.

Video remote interpreting (VRI) is an on-demand platform that provides communication to limited English proficient, deaf, or hard-of-hearing individuals by connecting to a professional interpreter in an offsite location. This is done via camera and microphone on a tablet, smart phone, or desktop, using an Internet or cellular connection. VRI reduces the risk of misunderstanding by capturing body language and facial expressions to read visual cues.

Before implementing VRI, your organization should discuss the needs of your audience and how video will fit into your language access plan. Take the time to have this discussion with your front-line staff and any other key stakeholders. Here are a few questions to prompt discussion:

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Tips for Working With an Onsite Interpreter

Posted by Scott Brown on July 28, 2017

Just like any other aspect of an important meeting, working with an onsite interpreter requires preparation and an eye for some key details.

Here are some things you can do before, during and after your meeting to make sure you communicate successfully.

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Case Study: Providing Language Access to a Swelling Immigrant Population

Posted by Sherri Gallant on July 10, 2017

Alberta Health Services provides health care and promotes wellness to a diverse community of 4.1 million residents in Alberta, Canada. AHS is Canada’s first and largest province-wide, fully integrated health system. It is comprised of 106 acute-care hospitals, almost 8,500 acute care beds, and nearly 24,000 continuing care beds. In all, programs and services are offered at over 650 facilities throughout the province.

All of this is to keep up with the fact that Alberta is Canada’s fastest-growing province. In 2014, Alberta's population-growth rate was more than twice the national average (2.9% vs. 1.1%, respectively).

 Alberta is also extremely diverse. From 2000 to 2015, Alberta’s share of Canada’s immigrant population more than doubled from 6.8% to 14.2%. Eighteen percent of Alberta’s population is made up of immigrants, with that number expected to climb as high as 31% within 20 years.

In fact, by 2036, half the Canadian population will either be an immigrant or second-generation immigrant, according to a recent study. In Calgary and Edmonton (Alberta’s largest cities) that number could reach 61% and 53%, respectively.

To say the least, managing language access for a patient community with exploding diversity is a massive undertaking. AHS has partnered with LanguageLine Solutions to provide much-needed language services to its patient population.

This article describes the eye-opening experience patients and healthcare workers are having with language access.

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The Tool You Need to Bridge the Gap to Multicultural Customers Is Already in Your Employees' Pockets

Posted by Bob Gallagher on June 26, 2017

Believe it or not, a tool that could fundamentally change the way your business interacts with multicultural customers is probably in your employees’ pockets right now.

A mobile phone is already a necessity of daily life and business for most of us. With a mobile language interpreter app like our new InSight SM for iPhone, it can also be your gateway to reliable, accurate, and efficient communication with customers who speak a language other than English.

The limited-English speaking audience in America is much larger than you may realize. More than 25 million people residing in the United States – nearly 10% of the population – are considered “Limited-English Proficient.” This means they do not speak English as their primary language and they have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English.

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'I Am There' - An Interpreter's Story (Video)

Posted by Amy Wade on March 28, 2017

Language interpretation is a difficult profession. Taking call after call without knowing what situation is coming up next requires total concentration and a passion for the profession. At LanguageLine Solutions, we understand that each interpreting session and every person on that call is vitally important. 

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Language Speaks Many Flavors

Posted by Patti Geye on September 15, 2016

Before I became part of the language services industry, I really didn't even know it existed. I speak English and never came up against a language barrier. Everyone around me spoke my language and even regional dialects are easy to comprehend. Although I wasn't angry that others didn't speak English, I figured if they wanted to, they could adapt. What an eye-opener it was when I actually learned about the difficulties of those that didn't speak English well or at all.

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A Mile in Their Shoes

Posted by Patti Geye on August 26, 2016

When deciding which Netflix movie to watch, or fall asleep to in front of the TV, I chose one that seemed fairly entertaining. I settled into my recliner and the movie began. Much to my surprise, it was in Italian with English subtitles. Not speaking Italian, I depend on reading the dialog. I’m pretty good with reading the captions and watching, so ok. About ten minutes in I wasn’t all that impressed. It seemed like they were saying a lot more, with much emotion, but the subtitles were short and fairly impassive. It was an Italian movie, so it was full of feeling. But I just wasn’t “feeling” it.

What was I missing?

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Disruptive Innovation: Change is Scary

Posted by Suzanne Franks on August 17, 2016

Finally, I am binge-watching the last season of the delightful period drama Downton Abbey. As I’ve watched each episode, I am amused with the myriad of “new disruptive innovations” featured in the early 1900s’ drama and the characters’ reactions to them.

There were no less than seven innovations from electricity, to the bicycle, the typewriter, a sewing machine, the telephone, and an automobile featured. Each and every time the new-fangled novelty was met with skepticism. Actually, they were more than skeptical, they were afraid. The innovations challenged their comfort-zone and forced the characters to do things differently or simply be left behind. As Mrs. Patmore, the downstairs cook, exclaimed when she first heard the ringing of the telephone, “Oh my Lord, listen to that! It’s like the cry of the banshee! I wouldn’t touch that thing with a ten foot pole!” Yet with each subsequent episode the disruptive innovation became a way of life. Why? Each new device made their lives easier, more productive and efficient, and more enjoyable. It not only helped make their personal lives easier, it assisted in meeting the demands of the Manor.

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Effective Language Access: The Challenge for Educators

Posted by Greg Holt on August 10, 2016

With the advent of legislation like the Every Student Succeeds Act, No Child Left Behind, and other regulations that strengthen the involvement of parents in their children’s education, school districts have a growing need for successful language access programs.

At the core of the need for language solutions is the principle of ensuring meaningful access to educational programs. Federal legislation, like Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin, which today includes language. Other statutes touching on equal opportunity for children (and their parents) to participate in the educational process include the Equal Educational Opportunity Act, Title III of No Child Left Behind Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Mandates to provide equal access to the benefits of public education are a common theme.

The main driver for the growth of language services in schools is the Limited English Proficient (LEP) population around the country. In the United States, where 1 in 5 individuals now speak a language other than English at home, schools encounter significant language barriers. English language learners (ELL) comprised 9.3% (or 4.5 million students) in 2013-2014. In California that number reached 22.7%! These statistics don’t account for LEP parents. Communicating with parents in their preferred language is critical to their full understanding and participation in their children’s education. 

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Need Help Complying with ACA’s Final Rule?

Posted by Suzy duMont-Perez on July 27, 2016

As a health care provider ensuring access to qualified interpreters for the Limited English Proficient (LEP) and the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing is the right thing to do. Under Section 1557, it is now also the law. 

As of July 18, 2016 health care entities that receive federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), HHS-administered programs, and Health Insurance Marketplaces and participating plans are obligated to comply with sweeping new federal language access requirements. These new standards were included in the final rule implementing Section 1557, the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act.

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