Americas May 14, 2012
CANADA: The Windsor Police Service has become the first force in Ontario to launch a high-tech service aimed at improving communication with people who are deaf, hard of hearing and with other language barriers.
Police partnered in June 2011 with Language Services Associates, a U.S. organization offering language translation services, to do a 30-day trial in the Emergency 911 Centre.
It was a success, so police incorporated the program into their Windsor Police Service Human Rights Project as a way of expanding service to people who are deaf or Limited English Proficient.
The program includes 24/7 access to telephone and video remote interpreting services at all police facilities where there is interaction with the public.
Video Remote Interpreting will allow deaf and hearing people to communicate through a video based interpreter via the LSA website. VRI will be available in the main office at police headquarters and the collision reporting centre on Jefferson Avenue.
It will allow people who are deaf or hard of hearing to file complaints, make general inquiries and complete minor reports that don’t require court attendance.
The Interpretalk service, or interpreting by telephone, will be available in the main office, traffic branch, professional standards branch, the detention unit and the collision reporting centre.
When required, an officer will contact LSA to request a telephonic interpreter, then give a separate handset to the citizen who needs the service. This will allow all three parties to communicate in the preferred language.
When at a call where there is a language barrier, officers can contact the 911 centre and request a conference call with LSA.
When officers need to call an LEP person, they can contact LSA and request a third party call. LSA will connect an interpreter to the line, then call the LEP person.