Legal Aid Ontario expands multilingual interpretation services in clinics

Posted on: wednesday, November 23, 2011

Low-income Ontarians seeking help and information at legal clinics now have access to professional interpretation services in over 200 languages. All of Legal Aid Ontario (LAO)’s legal clinics can now provide clients with multilingual services by arranging in-person interpretation, immediate telephone interpretation and written translation services.

Access to interpretation services at community legal clinics, specialty clinics and student legal aid services societies (SLASS) eliminates barriers to legal aid assistance across the province. By expanding interpretation services beyond LAO’s toll-free number to include legal clinics, LAO will now be able to assist three times the number of low-income Ontarians.

The professional interpretation services, funded by Legal Aid Ontario, are made possible by the Province of Ontario’s investment in legal aid services. Legal Aid Ontario has contracted Multilingual Community Interpreter Services (MCIS) to provide multi-lingual interpretation services to all clinics and SLASS for the next two years.

MCIS is a non-profit organization funded by the Government of Ontario which provides translation and interpretation services in over 200 languages. The organization works with agencies in the legal, healthcare, educational, cultural, mental health and municipal sectors across Ontario, and has previous experience working with community legal clinics.