OCDE’s annual Interpreters and Translators Conference returns in September

2019 Interpreters and Translators Conference

Language access advocates in the K-12 educational system will convene in Costa Mesa for the Orange County Department of Education’s Interpreters and Translators Conference next month.

The seventh annual conference of its kind — themed, “Know Your Path: Each Step Matters to Ensure Language Access” — was organized by OCDE’s Educational Services division.

Held at the Hilton Orange County Hotel on Sept. 29 and Sept. 30, the two-day event will include three general and 35 breakout sessions. The event is designed to offer bilingual professionals a platform for learning and growth, enabling them to enhance their capacity for delivering impactful language services to the communities they serve. Each session will focus on one of the following topics: family engagement, language access, skill development and translation.

2023 Interpretation and Translation Conference flyer

Language Services Program Specialist Natalia Abarca and her team have curated distinguished experts in the field to assist interpreters and translators working in the K-12 system, as they aim to provide meaningful interactions and support to students, families and school communities.

“Translators and interpreters play a pivotal role in shaping students’ success,” Abarca said. “By bridging language gaps and fostering collaboration between families and schools, we not only empower parents to engage actively in their children’s education but also provide unwavering support to students on their educational journeys.”

Under Abarca’s leadership, OCDE has built a countywide infrastructure to support language services, leading training, an awards program and a professional network to support educators.

The conference will kick off with a keynote address by Dr. Shree Walker, previously a director of education and special education local plan area for Los Angeles County, who will deliver a presentation on facing adversity with resilience and revitalizing self-confidence. 

In the current month, the conference has documented registrants hailing from 90 different school districts spanning 25 states, including educators from the Anaheim Union High School District.

“This one of a kind conference is the only conference whose sole focus is meeting the needs of educational interpreters and translators,” said Dr. Renae Bryant, the Anaheim Union High School District’s plurilingual services director. “This professional learning gained from this conference helps to build the capacity of our interpreters and translators to serve our staff and families which in turn helps our students.” 

Interpretation/Translation Award of Distinction

In conjunction with this year’s conference, Abarca and her team are in the process of gathering nominations for the 2023 Orange County Department of Education Interpretation/Translation Award of Distinction. This recognition looks to local school districts to identify individuals who exceed the specified eligibility prerequisites for this commendation. The department will accept nominations through Sept. 6 and will reveal the two honorees at the conference on Sept. 30.

Several professional organizations, such as the American Translators Association, the Judicial Council of California, the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters and the International Medical Interpreters Association, have endorsed the conference content for continuing education units.

The registration cost for this year’s event is $375 per person. To register or gather more details about the event, visit http://link.ocde.us/ITC2023. For additional information concerning conference content, contact Natalia Abarca at nabarca@ocde.us. For questions regarding registration, contact Brianna Gomez at eventsandpartnerships@ocde.us