Free training for interpreters in Victoria: understanding the NDIS

Interpreters in Victoria are invited to free training workshops  in 'Understanding the NDIS' over a series of workshops run by the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health. Interpreters will be emailed when a workshop in your language has been scheduled. Translators are welcome to attend.   

Interpreters know from experience how much training is needed to understand the NDIS, and the workshops fill quickly; if you miss out, do not despair, workshops will be run in the same language again.  

It is widely acknowledged that navigating the evolving landscape of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is complex.

Additionally, key concepts of the NDIS like individual empowerment and choice can be difficult for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities to understand or accept. This is because the group and family are often at the centre of decision-making processes, rather than the individual.

In 2018, the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health (CEH) trained around 500 interpreters to understand the NDIS, with funding support from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Training was run by language groups and in multi-lingual workshops for smaller language communities.

The DHHS has recognised the value of this work and continued support for CEH to run this training until June 2020. We are hoping to reach all interpreters in Victoria, including in regional areas and including Auslan interpreters. While the training has been designed around the interpreting interaction, translators are also welcome to attend.

The NDIS is a major system change that brings new processes and a new language. With this funding, we are able to update the training content to reflect the evolution of the NDIS, add to the Glossary of NDIS terminology to include new NDIS definitions.

Training will be run by language groups to maximise the opportunity for discussion and reaching consensus on translation.

Why we are training Interpreters 

Skilled interpreters do not translate word-to-word, instead they translate concepts and expressions, so they make sense in the clients’ culture. For example, in many languages, terms such as ‘eligibility’, ‘peer support’ or ‘access’ (to name a few) may need to be translated through a whole sentence rather than just a word. Interpreters need to understand what the word means and the concept behind it, then convey the term in a way that makes sense in the client’s culture and experience. 

The workshops are very hands-on and encourage collaboration between interpreters from the same language group to agree on how NDIS terms and concepts are best interpreted. It uses the ‘Glossary of NDIS and Disability Services’ developed by CEH to help language services and CALD community members understand the NDIS. The glossary is available on the Health Translations website

This training has been granted 10 PD points by NAATI and is offered free of charge. NAATI has also offered to promote the workshops with all accredited interpreters in Victoria, so watch this space for workshops in your language.

Workshops will run throughout the year in the city and in areas where interpreters live – for instance in Broadmeadows for Turkish and Arabic speakers, Dandenong for Dari speakers, etc. Interpreters will be notified by NAATI of when a workshop is planned, and will need to register themselves through Eventbrite. All languages will be covered, and there should be an opportunity for every interpreter in Victoria, regardless of their language, to attend the training. NAATI points for this training can only be claimed once through the calendar year. 

Article submitted by the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health.

Published: 03/05/2019