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Interpreters to support children and families

18 April 2023

When it comes to accessing therapy and support services, language barriers can be a significant challenge for children and families from diverse cultural backgrounds. This is where interpreters can play a crucial role in ensuring that everyone is on the same page and that communication is clear and effective.

What is an Interpreter?

An interpreter is a professional who helps people who speak different languages communicate with each other. They listen to what is being said in one language and then translate it into another language in real-time. Interpreters can work in a variety of settings, including healthcare, education, and government.

What is a Translator?

While an interpreter works with spoken language, a translator works with written language. Translators translate written documents from one language to another. For example, a translator may translate a medical report or a therapy plan into a different language so that it can be understood by a non-English speaking family.

How Can Interpreters Help You and Your Child?

Interpreters can help families in many ways, including:

  1. Ensuring effective communication between the family and service providers.
  2. Helping families understand the services and supports available to them.
  3. Supporting families to actively participate in the decision-making process regarding their child's therapy and support.
  4. Providing culturally responsive services that are sensitive to the family's cultural background and beliefs.

How Do You Access an Interpreter in Australia?

In Australia, there are several ways to access interpreters:

  1. Through the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI), which provides a directory of accredited interpreters.
  2. Through a community organization that provides interpreter services, such as the Refugee and Immigration Legal Service (RAILS).
  3. Through government agencies, such as the Department of Home Affairs, which provides free interpreting services for certain situations.

What Financial Support is Available for Interpreters in Australia?

The Australian government provides financial support for interpreting services through the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) National program. This program provides free interpreting services for eligible individuals who are non-English speaking or who have a hearing or speech impairment. The NDIS also provides funding for interpreters for eligible participants.

How Do You Access Interpreters in the NDIS?

If you or your child is an NDIS participant, you can access interpreter services through your NDIS plan. Your NDIS plan manager can help you find a suitable interpreter and arrange for their services to be funded through your plan.

In conclusion, interpreters can be a valuable resource for children and families from diverse cultural backgrounds who are accessing therapy and support services. They can help ensure effective communication, understanding of services and supports, and active participation in the decision-making process. In Australia, there are various ways to access interpreters, including through the NAATI, community organizations, and government agencies. Financial support for interpreters is also available through the TIS National program and the NDIS.