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

Niagara Knowledge Exchange & Community Calendar

Oct
23
Mon
GO Station Area Plans Open House: Grimsby @ Grimsby Town Hall - Council Chambers
Oct 23 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Niagara Region is holding a series of Open Houses to give residents the opportunity to review and ask questions about land use plans (Secondary Plans) that will guide development for the areas surrounding Niagara’s four proposed GO Train station sites.

The draft Secondary Plans were developed with resident input and provide a planning framework to guide future transit-oriented development and redevelopment in and around GO Station areas. The plans provide policy direction on land use, scale of development, and improvements to infrastructure required to accommodate future growth within the station areas.

Public Open Houses will take place on the following dates:

Public feedback can be submitted online.

This open house is hosted by Niagara Region.

Oct
24
Tue
Prison 101 Workshop @ Métis Nation of Ontario
Oct 24 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

This is a one-day beginner-level workshop designed for front line workers and others who work with/support people that are affected by incarceration. There is a strong focus on harm reduction/overdose prevention inside corrections, and HIV/HepC healthcare for individuals who are incarcerated.

You will:

  • Learn more about the Federal and Provincial systems and how to navigate through them
  • Learn about prison subculture and how it affects service delivery
  • Hear from a peer speaker … and more!

This workshop is hosted by Positive Living Niagara.

West Niagara: Shared Learning Local Hub Session @ Niagara West Adult Learning Centre
Oct 24 @ 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Shared Learning Local Hub sessions are being held in 5 areas across Niagara for front-line community service and outreach workers to:

  • Connect for shared learning;
  • Share ideas and best practice information to enable client success; and
  • Strengthen relationships concerning clients’ access to services and benefits.

Host presentation: Arlene High, Executive Director, Niagara West Adult Learning Centre

There will be roundtable updates, networking, and sharing of materials and resources.

To be part of this session, contact Faith Lowe at flowe@employmenthelp.org.

What You Need to Know About Canada’s Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines @ Online
Oct 24 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Canada’s Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines (LRCUG) are an evidence-based public health tool, allowing cannabis users to modify and reduce risks for harms associated with cannabis use.

The LRCUG were developed by an international team of renowned addiction and health science experts, and based on a rigorous review and expert guidelines process led by Dr. Benedikt Fischer (Nominated Principal Investigator, Ontario Node of the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse- CRISM).

This webinar will:

  • Introduce key concepts and content of Canada’s Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines
  • Discuss cannabis legalization and the possible integration of the guidelines into evolving regulatory and intervention frameworks
  • Discuss dissemination and application of the LRCUG in a variety of settings

This webinar is hosted by the Provincial System Support Program (PSSP) at CAMH.

Oct
25
Wed
Aging in Place: Housing and Services Forum @ The Ontario Paper Thorold Senior Centre
Oct 25 @ 8:30 am – 1:00 pm

The City of Thorold Age-Friendly Community invites you to Aging in Place: A Housing and Services Forum.

Agenda:

  • 8:30 a.m.: Doors Open
  • 8:55 a.m.: Greetings from Thorold Mayor Ted Luciani
  • 9:00-10:00 a.m.: Housing for Older Canadians – Aging in Place and Accessible Design (CMHC – Arlene Etchen and Jamie Shipley)
  • 10:00-10:15 a.m.: Break – Light Refreshments
  • 10:15-10:45 a.m.: The Halton HomeShare Program (Heather Thompson)
  • 10:45-11:00 a.m.: Thorold Non-Profit Housing – Proposed New Non-Profit Housing
  • 11:00-11:30 a.m.: Affordable Housing for Seniors in Thorold and Niagara (Henry D’Angela)
  • 11:30-12:15 p.m.: Services Helping Seniors Live at Home (Community Support Services of Niagara – Carrie-Lynne Sones)
  • 12:15-1:00 p.m.: Social – Light Refreshments

Seating is limited. Please RSVP by signing up at the Thorold Seniors Centre or by email (reception@thorold.com), indicating the number of attendees.

This forum is hosted by the City of Thorold Age-Friendly Community.

Fall Lecture Series: The Future of Food and Beverage @ Armenian Community Centre
Oct 25 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Lifelong Learning Niagara is a third age learning organization providing learning programs and experiences for adults 50+ living in the Niagara region.

The Future of Food and Beverage

Presenter: Craig Youdale, Dean, Canadian Food and Wine Institute, Niagara College

Learn what Canada’s leader in culinary, beer, wine and food science training has in store for the Niagara region, and how students are being prepared for a future in the food and beverage industry.

This lecture series is hosted by Lifelong Learning Niagara.

Building a Business Case for Employers to Actively Recruit and Retain People with Mental Illness @ Online
Oct 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Tune in to this webinar to learn why recruiting aspiring workers makes good business sense.

The term Aspiring Workforce describes those people who, due to mental illness, have been unable to enter the workforce, or who are in and out of the workforce due to episodic illness, or who wish to return to work after a lengthy period of illness. The Aspiring Workforce are an untapped source of labour who can play an important role in addressing urgent business needs and skills shortages.

Join Rebecca Gewurtz and Margaret Oldfield from McMaster University, Emile Tompa from the Institute for Work and Health, and the Mental Health Commission of Canada as we explore the business case for hiring and retaining individuals with a mental illness.

In 2013, the MHCC and key partners released The Aspiring Workforce: Employment and Income for People with Serious Mental Illness. The intent of the project was to identify existing and innovative practices that would help people living with a serious mental illness to secure and sustain meaningful employment (or sustainable income).

In an effort to carry out the recommendations of the Aspiring Workforce report to eliminate barriers of employment for individuals with severe mental illness the MHCC undertook a project to understand the business case from the employer’s point of view that examines how a strategic decision to actively recruit and retain people from the Aspiring Workforce addresses urgent business needs and skill shortages. This webinar will introduce the audience to the project and some of the initial findings.

This webinar is hosted by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

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Ontario Trillium Foundation

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Niagara Knowledge Exchange is powered by a Niagara-wide network of people for collaboration, planning, learning, innovation and community action toward a stronger future for Niagara. We work hard to help foster a culture of Niagara-focused research and evidence-informed planning to support your community development innovations. To learn more about Niagara Connects, please visit our central website: www.niagaraconnects.ca or contact us: Email: info@niagaraconnects.ca, Phone: 905-688-6236
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