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June 26, 2003
Ohio Joins National Court Interpreters Consortium

Chief Justice Thomas Moyer announced this week that the Supreme Court of Ohio has joined a national effort to provide foreign language interpreter standards for those using Ohio courts.

The Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification works to develop standards of competence and provide testing materials to give individual states and jurisdictions the necessary tools and guidance to implement certification programs.

"Establishing standards of competence and uniform training for court interpreters is vital to ensuring the effective administration of justice in Ohio," Chief Justice Moyer said.

"It is essential given the changing demographics of the state - particularly the increase of non-English-speaking residents," he added.

Consortium membership entitles the Ohio judiciary to a comprehensive resource network, including standard curriculum and training materials for basic interpreter orientation workshops, and the ability to grant reciprocity to interpreters certified in other member states. The consortium maintains a registry of approved interpreters and has adopted a code of professional conduct that interpreters should follow.

Ohio is the 30th state to enter the consortium. The membership follows a recommendation of the Racial Fairness Implementation Task Force.

The consortium, founded in 1995, is administered by the National Center for State Courts in Williamsburg, Va. The program was recently honored as one of 15 finalists for the Innovations in American Government Award of the Institute for Government Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Contact: Chris Davey at 614.387.9250.