From Isolation to Inclusion, Interpreters Unlimited Urges Equal Education with Language Services

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SAN DIEGO, June 21, 2024 – As most schools have already ended their ’23-’24 school year, it’s time to look ahead and prepare for the ’24-’25 academic year. Imagine a Non-English speaking student joining your school mid-year without an interpreter—struggling to understand lessons, feeling isolated, and missing out on crucial education, it happened this year in San Diego. In such cases, many rely on AI and Google Translate which often falls short, leading to communication breakdowns and educational inequalities. Interpreters Unlimited (IU) is urging schools across the country to prioritize language interpretation and document translation services to ensure every student receives the education they deserve.

Most schools have the budget for this important resource but so many are not taking advantage of it, not providing an equal education for all. IU learned that at least one school in a district in San Diego received a new student who spoke no English mid school year and yet no interpreter was provided, communication was handled through translation apps. This can work here and there, but with errors and inefficiency. A teacher cannot teach in English and then act as a translation facilitator using a translation app, communicating every single thing they have spoken twice all day long. This equates to a poor education experience, students being left out, confused, unhappy and even scared.

There is a lot of talk about AI translation, but no matter how good it is, it still needs a human touch. You wouldn’t trust an AI robot or machine to perform heart surgery on you without a human doctor there, right? Education should be taken just as serious. When it comes to important instances where wording and nuance matters, like in healthcare, education, and legal, one little mistake can be detrimental.

Planning ahead for language services is crucial for several reasons. First, it allows schools to arrange for these services in advance, reducing the need for last-minute coordination and ensuring smoother operations throughout the school year. Moreover, early planning enables schools to allocate resources more effectively. This includes budgeting for interpreter services, translation software, and staff training. Another critical aspect of preparation is emergency readiness. Preparing for language services in advance ensures that schools can effectively and swiftly communicate emergency information to linguistically diverse populations, safeguarding the well-being of all students and their families.

Language Service Providers like IU offer a full range of services to meet these needs, including interpretation in over 200 languages, American Sign Language and document translation. Schools do not need to be concerned with being locked into contracts either, as companies like IU offer services on-demand whenever needed, or through flexible short-term or long-term contracts. Services are also available in person, virtually via video and over the phone. There is no shortage of options to ensure every student in need receives the services they require.

This year alone, IU provided language services to schools in 40 states, supporting approximately 100 school districts and 300 schools, benefiting over 5,000 students and their families. However, this is only a fraction of the schools and districts that are out there, and so many have yet to tap into this invaluable resource.

The consequences of neglecting language services are significant. Communication breakdowns can create educational inequalities, leaving non-English speaking students at a disadvantage. Schools that fail to address language needs may also face reputational damage and dissatisfaction among students and parents. Looking to Google Translate, other machine translation apps and AI cannot substitute for professional interpreters who ensure accuracy and cultural sensitivity in communication.

Interpreter Fady Bishay remarked, “Having worked as an interpreter in diverse educational settings, I’ve seen firsthand how crucial human interpreters are for bridging the gap for non-English speaking students. It’s about more than just words – it’s about understanding nuances, fostering participation, and creating a truly inclusive learning environment.”

For more information about Interpreters Unlimited, Inc., please visit or call 800-726-9891.

About Interpreters Unlimited, Inc.

The IU Group of companies include: Interpreters Unlimited, Accessible Communication for the DeafAlbors & AlnetArkansas Spanish Interpreters and Translators, and IU GlobeLink, LLC, and are headquartered in San Diego, California as a minority-owned company.  IU Group is committed to providing equal opportunity in the work environment with its diverse team to aid in supplying linguistic and cultural interpretation services to clients. A combined 70 years in the industry has demonstrated a surplus of leadership and best practices, which has helped establish its respected role in the language services community. Its services include interpretation, document translation and non-emergency medical transportation.

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Media Contact
Marc Westray
(858) 726-9891