Ohio Court Interpreter Services to Expand
The Ohio Supreme Court has approved new rules to further improve access to the judicial system for Ohioans who need foreign or sign language interpretation.The changes to rules 80 and 87, and the addition of rule 89, in the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio take effect on July 1 and will:
- Require interpreters for “ancillary court services” other than a court or case function.
- Add the designation “registered foreign language interpreters” for interpreters who’ve demonstrated language proficiency to interpret in a case or court function but aren’t certified by the Supreme Court because no certification exam exists.
The Supreme Court agreed with recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Language Services and the Commission on the Rules of Superintendence to revise the proposed language after reviewing public comment. Examples of ancillary court services have been added to the rules, including alternative dispute resolution programs, pro se clinics, and court information counters. Language has also been added to outline the use of foreign or sign language communications in conjunction with those ancillary services.
The Ohio Supreme Court has taken steps to improve access to the justice system for limited-English proficient, deaf, hard-of-hearing, and deaf-blind individuals. Those efforts include establishing a certification program for court interpreters, providing guidance for courts in appointing certified interpreters, and developing a complaint resolution process.
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