Natalia Abarca, Program Specialist, Presents at the 2019 Interpreters and Translators Conference hosted by the Orange County Department of Education.

The annual Interpreters and Translators Conference returns this month, with three days of educational sessions to advocate for language access across the K-12 system.

The sixth seminar of its kind — on the theme “Access to languages ​​for ALL! Educational Leaders, Interpreters, Translators: We Are Stronger Together” – was hosted by the Educational Services Division of the Orange County Department of Education. Each session will focus on one of the following topics: skills development, self-care, ethics, cultural considerations, professionalism, translation and branding.

Participants can attend 18 different sessions on professional learning and engagement, including two virtual and one in-person/hybrid. Virtual sessions will take place from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the first two days of the conference, with the last day of sessions held in person from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This will be the first hybrid event after holding two virtual conferences during the pandemic. Despite the lack of the face-to-face connection, Language Services Program Specialist Natalia Abarca said her team was able to grow their audience through the format.

“The virtual platform gave us the opportunity to explore and open our doors to the virtual world,” Abarca said. “Unknowingly, it’s become an international conference, because we have people coming from all over the United States and other countries as well.”

With this year’s meeting, the Language Services Unit is working to develop a language access plan for the entire county, including a uniform template or set of guidelines for District Managers to follow. and school. Organizers say this will help ensure equitable language access for students and families – a top priority for OECD staff.

2022 Interpreters and Translators Conference Flyer

The conference will begin with keynote speaker Dr. Jennifer Love, language access consultant for Equitable Engagement Solutions, LLC, and her presentation on integrating language access into the education ecosystem.

Abarca, the founder of the event, said that through this conference, her team was able to “provide a place and a place where bilingual staff can find resources and training” while learning new strategies and tips for making full use of translation and interpreting services.

Among the speakers is the academic director of the OECD, Dr Christine Olmstead, who will moderate the session “Removing Barriers, Opening Opportunities” on September 24. She will also be part of a panel of administrators that will discuss “Establishing the Language Access Communities Foundation and Aligning District Practices” on September 23.

The event will include other Orange County administrators such as Anaheim Union School District Multilingual Services Director Dr. Renae Bryant and Buena Park School District Superintendent Dr. Ramon Miramontes for 29 speakers total guests.

In line with this year’s theme, the program will focus on fostering meaningful collaborations between administrators, interpreters and translators within education systems.

“These are our heroes, our leaders, the people who have really given us tremendous support and they have a huge impact on the growth of our conference,” Abarca said.

In addition to hosting the annual symposium, the OECD Language Services Unit manages a multilingual consortium for all Orange County districts, charter schools and learning centers to come together for language supports. . The team also provides a list of resources for high-quality translation and interpreting services, as well as online training and updated terminology.

Participants at the 2019 Interpreters and Translators Conference
Participants at the 2019 Interpreters and Translators Conference.

As the conference is one of the first of its kind in the country, Abarca and his colleagues like to think of themselves as the pioneers of this service for interpreters and translators specializing in education.

Educators, interpreters and translators can reserve their place for the 2022 Interpreters and Translators Conference by visiting the official conference website. Registration for the event will cost $150 per person and will include access to all virtual sessions, keynote, breakout sessions and in-person conference activities at the OECD.

For questions regarding the conference, contact Natalia Abarca at [email protected] or Jorge Ibarra at [email protected] For assistance with registration, contact Brianna Gomez at [email protected]