Challenges Facing Native Interpreters in Oregon

A bill passed last year required health care providers to work with OHA-certified interpreters so patients have accurate translations. But advocates say this has excluded native speakers from Central and South America.

Kristyna Wentz-Graff/OPB

Oregon now requires health care providers to work with OHA-certified interpreters so patients have accessible and accurate translations, after a bill passed the legislature last year. But proponents say this new system has native speakers excluded of languages ​​from places like Mexico and Guatemala due to certification requirements. Puma Tzoc is the coordinator of the Oregon Native Performers Collective and a K’iche’ language speaker. Cam Coval is the Managing Director of Pueblo Unido PDX. They both join us now to share how this new state law has affected Oregon interpreters and their hopes for the future.

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