My July 14, 2011 posting was about the development of national standards for language access in US courts by the American Bar Association (ABA). These standards represent an additional step towards the goal of overcoming language barriers in court proceedings by providing guidelines for courts and state court administrators across the United States in the design, implementation, and enforcement of a comprehensive system of language access services that suit the needs of their communities. Sadly, in my August 23 post I reported that the ABA’s House of Delegates tabled discussion of the Standards to their February 2012 meeting. I am happy to report – finally – that the Standards were recently adopted --in an amended form. Rob Cruz, Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters (NAJIT), and a resilient proponent of the Standards, will write an article for the next Proteus – NAJITS’s newsletter – on the process, next steps, and what the amendments to the Standards mean. In the meantime, I am happy to provide a link to the adopted Standards.
I will certainly write here on Mr. Cruz’ report as soon as it becomes available. While the Standards do not have binding force, their adoption by the America Bar Association’s House of Delegates marks a milestone in language access for Limited English Proficient (LEP) persons and for the development of court interpreting in this US.