In reference to the much now debated within the Professional Community Interpreters circles, ATIO responds to CISOC and also sends a similar response to HIN.

This is ATIO’s response:

Dear Mr. Chacon:

There was never any intent on our part to offend you with our press release, nor was it our intention to create the impression that all working community interpreters are wholly untrained. We were simply trying to raise awareness of the fact that consumers are not able to distinguish between trained and untrained interpreters because there is currently no regulation. The press release was meant to attract media attention, not to provide a description of the industry.As you know, the ATIO Ad Hoc Committee on Community Interpreting has not been able to move forward as expeditiously as we had initially hoped with proposed changes to the ATIO Act due to circumstances beyond our control.
Our intention here was shock value: why should politicians be concerned? And why should they support changes to the Act which, among other things, would create the category of “Certified Community Interpreter”?.

The statement “Untrained and unqualified interpreters often provide ad hoc interpretation in public service settings – including hospitals, parole hearings and administrative tribunals – at the risk of public safety and individual freedom” is unfortunately true. Despite the interpreters available through your respective organizations, there are nonetheless hundreds of unqualified interpreters working for private agencies and providing services in these sensitive areas.

Also, you must remember that ATIO represents members throughout the province of Ontario and while there are organizations such as yours in urban centres, the same cannot be said for all regions of the province.

The Ad Hoc Committee discussed your concerns at our teleconference this week and we feel that a face to face meeting might go a long way to dispelling some of the misunderstandings. Our Annual General Meeting is scheduled for the evening of Friday, April 27th in Toronto, and the Ad Hoc Committee would be very happy to meet with you on Saturday, April 28th to discuss your concerns. Please let us know if that would be convenient for you.

Kind regards,

Barbara Collishaw
President, ATIO

What Ms Collishaw does not realize is the Ontario Hospitals, such as Mount Sinai, Hospital for Sick Kids, Univeristy Healthcare Network deal with professional interpreters and their staff interpreters are Interpreters whom have post secondary education degrees in Linguistics. In addition the Hospitals train their interpreters regularly and those that run Volunteer programs for Interpretation, train the Volunteers.

Ms Collishaw said the Press Release was to attract media attention? Is she kidding? This is the poorest explanation i have have ever heard.

Ms Collishaw and ATIO are clearly out to lunch in my opinion and again as an interpreter myself and a the CEO of Language Marketplace whom is Certified for Translation Services, welcomes the chance to have ATIO’s Ontario Private members bill submitted for amercement. It would be my pleasure to produce evidence as why the bill is updated and has not place in today’s Translation and Interpretation Services Industry, as it is set at this moment.

Ema Dantas

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