OCDE conference to focus on strengthening school interpretation and translation services

Enhancing school-based interpretation and translation services will be the topic of a month-long virtual conference hosted by OCDE’s Educational Services division.

Beginning Sept. 8 and continuing through Oct. 2, the fifth annual Interpreters and Translators Conference will feature 20 live, one-hour sessions on Thursdays and Fridays for four weeks, covering such topics as remote interpreting, cultural challenges, technology, best practices for translations and more.

There will also be an opportunity to take as many as five additional three-hour sessions offered each Wednesday and replayed the following Saturday.

Interpreters and Translators Conference flier

Educators, parents and community members are encouraged to register in advance for the event, which is based on the theme, “On the Road to Professionalization.” The keynote address will be delivered by interpreting expert Maha El-Metwally.

“It’s a unique time for educational interpreters because we have become even more stronger, resilient, empathetic and united than ever,” OCDE Program Specialist Natalia Abarca said. “We have committed to communicating across cultures to provide accurate language access in the community, serving our families and students.”

Under Abarca’s leadership, OCDE has built a professional network and countywide infrastructure to support language services. Along with hosting trainings, the department has worked to establish common educational terminology, launched an awards program and hosted the annual Interpreters and Translators Conference.

Following three in-person events, last year’s conference was one of many that had to make the jump to a virtual format. Still, Abarca said online presentations offered an “unforgettable learning experience” for 410 interpreters, translators, community liaisons, administrators and other school personnel from 25 states and 11 countries. Attendees, she said, represented 87 school districts and 40 county offices of education.

The registration cost for this year’s version starts at $125 per person and includes the keynote and the 20 one-hour sessions. The bonus content on Wednesdays will be available for $25 per session. Access to all of the presentations will be accessible on-demand until Oct. 31 for those who have registered.

To sign up, or to learn more about the event, visit http://cvent.me/9KxzEG. For more information, contact Natalia Abarca at nabarca@ocde.us or Jorge Ibarra at jibarra@ocde.us.