Language Interpretation Services Trained to Work with Vulnerable Populations in Niagara & Hamilton

INCommunities (formerly known as Information Niagara) is a leader in connecting residents of Niagara and surrounding areas to essential human services. With geopolitical trends indicating higher numbers of refugees and immigrants assimilating to new cultural environments, demand for providing service to non-English speakers and those with limited-English proficiency is increasing.

INCommunities is a community information centre that has been connecting people to services for over 40 years. Through four programs, including the 211 Helpline, Niagara Community Information Database, Volunteer Connections Program, and Language Interpretation Services, INCommunities is dedicated to its mission of strengthening communities by bringing people and services together.

Interpreters Niagara-Hamilton (INH)
Interpreters Niagara-Hamilton (INH) is a vital community program that offers a point of connection to non-English speakers with local service providers.

Established in 1987, INH is an integral liaison in reducing language barriers between service providers and their clients. In 2016, INH served over 750 clients in various social service sectors, including counselling, social assistance, healthcare, education, legal, and child welfare matters.

INH offers interpretation services in the Niagara Region and City of Hamilton and requires its language interpreters to be trained, certified and to adhere to a code of ethics to work with vulnerable populations, including survivors of domestic abuse. This commitment to ethical standards is foundational to ensure that not only is information being interpreted accurately, but also in a way that respects survivors’ rights to feel safe. INH has a roster of over 90 certified language interpreters in over 35 languages and dialects. INH is constantly growing, and responding to diverse and shifting regional language needs.

Interpretation services are available for individual or group counselling sessions, domestic violence shelters, court preparation and crown attorney meetings, legal appointments, medical appointments, parent-teacher meetings and government services, among other scenarios.

INCommunities is a part of a network of agencies in Ontario funded by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration to provide interpretation services for clients who are victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, or sexually exploited through human trafficking. These are major issues in Niagara. Southwestern Ontario accounts for 75% of all human trafficking cases in Canada, and Niagara region statistics indicate that the Niagara Regional Police will spending an alarming 14 hours a day on average responding to domestic violence calls. INH is therefore crucial to represent the voices of non-English speakers, ensuring that no matter what language is spoken, people can get the help they need. If you are a service provider that serves victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, or those sexually exploited through human trafficking, this service is offered at no cost to you.

Let INH be your point of language connection! The services are available 24/7, with an after-hours number for requests outside of the 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. office hours. To learn more about how our services can support your clients, please view additional material below:

Liz Smith, MA
Intake & Outreach Liaison
INCommunities, Interpreters Niagara Hamilton
inh@incommunities.ca

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