The logo of the Interpretation Services Guide. The title is in white with a red background. Above is the STELIP logo. To the side is a triangle design in green and red.

This guide helps service providers and people in need of interpretation services understand what type of interpretation may be needed and what the options are in the St. Thomas and Elgin County area. It’s the responsibility of the organization to provide an interpretation service to make sure that the client understands what is being shared, discussed, or agreed upon.

There are lots of different kinds of interpretation services, which vary in cost and in guarantee of confidentiality. These include phone interpretation, informal online interpretation, and formal in-person interpretation services. All of these services are available to residents of St. Thomas and Elgin County.

The number of people in St. Thomas and Elgin County who speak languages other than English or French is growing every year. Understanding the available interpretation services is crucial.

Access to professional healthcare interpretation is a serious health equity issue. Without the ability to communicate with a care provider in their preferred language, patients cannot engage with healthcare services, and the legislative obligations under which healthcare providers function cannot be met. In consultation with healthcare and settlement providers across Canada, the National Newcomer Navigation Network (N4) developed a proposed national standard and an accompanying set of recommendations to address language barriers for newcomers. This position paper calls for an interpretation approach which can be implemented nationally to promote safe, equitable and positive healthcare access and experiences for newcomers.