Three from AOC attend Council of Language Access Conference

Georgia was among the 39 states and one U.S. territory represented at the second annual Council of Language Access Coordinators Conference, April 27-30, 2014, in Portland, Ore.  The conference, sponsored by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), brought together court professionals whose common goal is to create barrier-free access to justice in state courts for people who have Limited English Proficiency.  AOC Director Marla Moore, Certification and Licensing Program Director Shinji Morokuma, and Education Certification Officer Linda Smith were among the 88 attendees. 
The conference demonstrated that the way each state’s judiciary is structured – particularly whether the court system was unified or non-unified – creates unique challenges in meeting U.S. Department of Justice mandates for improving access to courts for people who are not fluent in English.  The need for more interpreters and for interpreters in uncommon languages was a shared need among states.  The growing use of remote interpreting – by phone or videoconference – was discussed as a possible technological solution for states that do not have enough interpreters to cover all languages needed by their courts. 
Addresses by retired Chief Justice Paul DeMuniz of the Oregon Supreme Court, current Chief Justice Thomas A. Balmer, Mary McQueen, NCSC president, and staff of the NCSC Language Access Services Section were among the conference highlights.  Seminars offered attendees a diverse array of subjects, including strategies for leveraging and managing stakeholders, educating judges and court staff, and funding expansion of interpretive services.

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