NYC expands translation of special education programs

Parents of students with disabilities who do not speak English I had a hard time for a long time Translating children’s learning plans into their native language is a significant barrier to advocating additional support and ensuring that they are receiving the right service.

Authorities are currently taking more important steps to address this issue. Last year, the education department centralized the student’s personalized education plan (or IEP) rather than leaving the process to individual schools that do not always have the ability to perform translations and find external vendors. The city-wide effort to translate into has quietly started to provide it.

Scaled-up city-wide program A small pilot program announced two years ago, Will be permanent, officials recently said.

The IEP is an important document detailing each student’s individual goals and eligible services, such as speeches, occupational therapy, or small classes with professional instruction. Without a translated version, families may have a hard time knowing if their children have qualified services and are effectively advocating for them.

However, even if supporters say that the centralized process is a step in the right direction, the family is still responsible for requesting translation of the document, and the family may not know that they can request translation. So far, there is a big gap between the number of families and requests that may require a translated IEP.

According to city officials, about 78,000 students with disabilities live in families where English is not their first language. Last year, 7,078 IEPs were translated, and in the first year a centralized translation process became available throughout the city.

So far this year, about 1,100 IEPs have been translated, according to officials, an increase of 70% compared to the same period last year.

It is unclear how much the pandemic has reduced family demands for translated IEPs since the Ministry of Education, or how those numbers have historically stacked. Did not track The number of IEPs translated by individual schools before the process was centralized.

Nonetheless, supporters said the new translation process represents progress.

“It’s pretty late,” said policy expert Lori Podveskar. INCLUDEnyc, An advocacy group focused on special education. “If the special document that prevents the family from participating in the decision is not translated, it corresponds to inferior results.”

By relying on the school to translate the IEP, a patchwork system was born. Individual schools may not have someone to translate the document, or may have difficulty finding a translator who can provide a high quality translation of the document, which often contains jargon and other technical terms. ..

Ministry officials argue that centralizing the process creates a more streamlined process and leads to better translations. This is so that the city can use trained translators to review advanced technical documentation and reuse boilerplate in specific areas to focus on the next section. Unique to each student. (The city uses an external company, Lingualinx, to do the translation.)

Paola Jordan, co-director of Sinergia, an organization that helps Spanish-speaking families navigate special education services, says many families, and even the school itself, may not know that translations can be requested. I did.

“I’m still looking at my Spanish-speaking parents. [IEPs] In English, “Jordan wrote in an email. “Parents are still responsible for requesting service.” She also raised concerns that families might have to wait weeks for the document to be translated.

Ministry of Education officials did not immediately indicate how long the translation would normally take, but only said it would be completed as soon as possible. It also did not answer questions about why the city does not automatically translate IEPs, primarily for families who speak other languages.

However, they said they are working to spread the word through letters, text messages, and advertisements to “promote the availability of language access services.”

Families wishing to request an IEP translation can contact the school, call 718-935-2013, or Visit the department’s website..

NYC expands translation of special education programs

Source link NYC expands translation of special education programs

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