How Translation Devices can make a difference in people’s lives.
Karim Brown, parent liaison at Allentown School District discovered something that will potentially improve the relationship of many parents with their children's schools: Offering simultaneous interpretation to parents whose first language is not English, since many times not understanding what is being said and the embarrassment of having to ask for a translator makes these parents decide not to get involved with the school.
"We know a lot of our families don't feel comfortable coming to a school for a program or event when there is not going to be someone there to interpret what's being said," Karim stated.
To solve this, each school in the district will receive a complete Enersound language interpretation system for up to 25 people. This system is ideal for small meetings or school events and can be expanded if to accommodate more foreign speaking participants.
How does the system work?
Each parent/participant gets a wireless receiver and a set of headphones. The interpreter uses a transmitter connected to a microphone to translate what the presenter says into the foreign language. Only the participants using these receivers can listen to the interpreter. Everything happens in real time with very little lag between the presenter’s speech and the interpreter’s rendition in the foreign language. The interpreter is usually seated at the back of the room inside a translation booth.
Using interpretation systems to break the language barriers is not only an inclusive solution, but it is mandatory in a school district with over 67% of Spanish, Latino and bilingual population.
Parents themselves believe that this will end the fear and shame of attending school meetings. We cannot begin to express how happy news like this make us feel.
Technology is here to bring us closer, and this case is a great proof of that.
We celebrate Allentown’s School District decision and hope it can inspire others facing similar issues.
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