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Courtroom Video Interpreters Provide Access to Justice

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Remote interpreting is an evolving field that expands each day as organizations - both private and government agencies - seek to communicate across languages, for global business or domestic multiculturalization. New developments and promising practices continue to evolve, such as simultaneous telephone interpreting, computer-assisted interpretation, interpretation business management systems, and other supporting technologies. We recently visited the Ninth District Court in Orlando, Florida, where interpreters provide services using the latest in videoconferencing technology for Orange and Osceola Counties. Watch our video from the court's remote interpreting center (for a virtual tour of a health care video interpreting implementation, see our post from a visit to a California hospital from earlier this year).

What does this uptake in interpreting technology mean? We've written before about the ubiquitous demand for language services and challenges in providing access. Stories of interpreter shortages cross our desks every day. While technology solutions such as that adopted by the Ninth District Court's can't make up for the whole shortfall, it will help expand the availability of language services.

Florida isn't the only state that is exploring its interpretation technology options. The Minnesota District Courts recently issued a request for proposals for remote interpreting. In the case of courts, these technologies protect the ability of society as a whole to communicate with accuracy and clarity, a critical component of access to justice.

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