A dramatic increase in South Carolina’s Hispanic/Latino population has led to a substantial need for social and health-related services for people with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). Federal mandates require agencies to provide assistance to individuals with LEP. To meet these mandates and to responsibly attend to client needs, agencies must provide language interpretation.
The delivery of quality services requires that individuals be equipped with the knowledge and skills to function as professional interpreters. Interpreting is not as easy as it may seem. A great deal of harm can occur when agencies and individuals operate from certain myths regarding interpretation.
The Interpreter Qualification Project (IQP) helps agencies offer professional interpretation for their Spanish-speaking clients. IQP does this by providing training and testing for bilingual workers and individuals from the community who are interested in interpreting.
Today IQP is available to other public and private agencies interested in standardizing the qualification needed by their staff and others who provide Spanish interpretation services to their clients or customers. IQP clients have included the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS), Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), Department of Mental Health (DMH), and Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS).
IQP is not a certification program. Successful completion assures only that a participant meets certain knowledge and skill criteria for interpretation and is eligible to interpret for participating agencies.
The Center administers the project through the use of highly qualified Master's prepared interpreters and translators. The project was developed by The Center in collaboration with DHEC and DSS.