Advocacy resources for interpreters
Translation and interpreting profession
ATA’s Board of Directors recently approved the following mission statement: “ATA’s mission is to promote the recognition of professional translators and interpreters, to facilitate communication among its members, to establish standards of competence and ethics, to provide its members with professional development opportunities, and to advocate on behalf of the profession.” The statement, which draws from Article II of ATA’s Bylaws, offers members and the public a quick snapshot of both the vision and the function of the Association. (May, 2019)
T&I Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill – ATA held its first Translation and Interpreting Advocacy Day on October 25, 2017. Nearly 50 translators and interpreters met with staffers in 68 Congressional offices and Executive Branch agencies to discuss issues and policies affecting the T&I industry. (October, 2017)
Why work with qualified and certified translators and interpreters?
OSTI submitted this document in Washington, DC, in April of 2014.
ATA submitted this response to the Department of Homeland Security’s Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Language Access Plan on November 14, 2014.
End users complain less when services are rendered by certified or qualified interpreters. Interpreters United, the freelance interpreters’ labor union in Washington State, published a review of 621,659 interpreted appointments (April 2014 – March 2016). The results? A 1.76% complaint rate of which only 0.63% complaints merited disciplinary action for violating the code of ethics. All these interpreters were certified or authorized to render medical and social services by that state’s Department of Social and Health Services.
The Federal Government considers this important enough that it has a TIP Sheet to help requesters identify certified translators and interpreters.
What kinds of services do interpreters and translators provide?
The Federal Government has developed some TIP Sheets regarding work with interpreters. They are written for remote interpreting, but the principles in these sheets can be applied to other types of interactions.
Compensation of Court Interpreters in the State of New York – By comparing and contrasting the jobs of court reporter and court interpreter, the authors hope for a reclassification of the New York State job title for court interpreters, which in turn may lead to better compensation. (June, 2019) NEW
Should interpreters, translators, and their professional associations engage in lobbying activities?
Advocacy 101 for Interpreters and Translators is a guide to permissible advocacy activities for interpreters, translators, and their professional associations written for NAJIT members.
Language access and civil rights
This overview of language access and civil rights was published by the Oregon Society of Translators and Interpreters on June 7, 2015.
More advocacy efforts
The ATA President wrote the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to request the creation of a public directory of federally-certified interpreters that all in need of interpreting can access. (April, 2019)
ATA opposes lower interpreter exam scores in Texas in a letter sent by ATA President to the Texas House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee. (April, 2019)
ATA Joins Coalition in Open Letter to U.S. President. A coalition of 14 organizations representing translators and interpreters around the world called on the U.S. President to lift the current ban on immigration. (January, 2017)
ATA Statement Regarding President Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration. “As the voice of over 10,000 interpreters and translators in the United States and abroad, the American Translators Association is very concerned about President Trump’s recent Executive Order to suspend issuing visas to nationals from certain countries in the Middle East and northern Africa.” (January, 2017)
ATA expresses concern with the situation regarding the language services contract for the United States Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR). (November 2015)
Interpreting in conflict zones
Open letter to the Secretary General of the UN, seeking his support for a Resolution urging all countries to protect translators and interpreters in conflict areas. (May, 2019)
Conflict Zone Field Guide for Civilian Translators/Interpreters and User of Their Services. This document is a guide to the basic rights, responsibilities, and practices that the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), the International Federation of Interpreters & Translators (FIT), and Red T recommend to T/Is and users of their services. It applies to T/Is serving as field linguists for the armed forces, journalists, NGOs, and other organizations in conflict zones. (2012)