Interpreters serve a vital role, helping to overcome barriers of communication and helping you provide legal aid to clients whom you would otherwise not be able to reach. Employing professional interpreters can present a financial burden that will strain your organization and in many cases, be unrealistic within the constraints of your budget. With a Community Interpreter program that leverages the language skills of our own clients and former clients. While this model presents several challenges and risks, with careful training and management, these risks can be mitigated. Furthermore, this model provides an enrichment opportunity to the Community Interpreters it involves.
In this section, the benefits and the challenges of working with community interpreters will be discussed. Furthermore, the steps towards setting up a community interpreter program will be outlined, including the management of interpreters and building capacity, dealing with gender and sensitive issues, and developing an interpreter resource center will be addressed.