- Photo via The Center Orlando/ Instagram
- The Center Orlando now offers interpretation services in more than 200 languages as part of its effort to achieve Language Justice.
A nonprofit organization and a translation and interpretation group have come together to provide a helpful resource for Central Floridians.
The Center Orlando
, in partnership with CCI Group
, is now offering free translation services to those seeking their services, expanding the organization's mission to help the LGBTQIA+ community in Central Florida regardless of the language they speak.
“A lot of times, people speak Portuguese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Creole and when those individuals come to our center, they rely on their family and friends who translate and it kind of dehumanize the person, when really we should be talking to the person that is seeking the service, especially very sensitive services," said Joel Morales, director of operations and program director, Orlando United Assistance Center.
The Center provides free HIV testing and health screening for sexually transmitted infections, as well as case counseling for those impacted by the Pulse tragedy, programs for those struggling with housing or addiction and an immigration clinic.
Morales told Orlando Weekly
the organization recognized the language gap in their facilities and the need to bring these interpreters was more evident than ever.
“Unfortunately, in too many cases, [the language gap] would result in the individual not coming to us to keep their needs secret," Morales said
People seeking services at The Center in a language other than English can select a card with their preferred language. A representative will then call the CCI direct line, and an interpreter will translate the conversation.
"For Spanish, it takes about 10 seconds for someone to answer that call. If it's another language like Chinese they'll take maybe 60 seconds, but no more than one minute that we're on hold," he said. "Once we get through, we're able to talk with the speaker and communicate with the person directly in their own language."
For now, interpretation assistance is available for those who visit in person only. Over-the-phone inquiries are still led in English, but not for long, Morales said.
"In the next month or so, we're looking to have a set up that someone can go through the translation system and pick the language before they actually talk to someone at the front desk," Morales said.
With this move, the Center is aiming for "language justice", a concept the organization is trying to incorporate and promote to other non-profits so they can also assure accessibility and showcase inclusivity.
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