Events and Language Access Initiatives

Privacy and Confidentiality Training Module for Community Interpreters

Developed through a collaboration among Access Alliance, Ottawa Newcomer Health Centre, and the Alliance for Healthier Communities, “Privacy and Confidentiality Training Module for Community Interpreters”, explores the expectations and responsibilities of the interpreter in protecting personal health information.

This module is intended to be applicable for all community interpreters working in Ontario.  In alignment with best practices for workers with access to personal health information, all interpreters will be required to complete privacy training on an annual basis.  First, we will look into some key privacy concepts, such as personal health information, health information custodian and agent, as well as safeguards. We will then go over important privacy and confidentiality considerations when working as a community interpreter. To wrap up, we will go over best practices and key points. Throughout the module and at the end, you will be prompted to answer a few multiple choice and True and False questions to ensure you have understood the presented content.

Topics covered:

  • Basic Concepts of Privacy and Confidentiality
  • Confidentiality as a Right for Clients
  • Confidentiality as an Ethical Principle
  • Safeguards to Protect PHI
  • Case Studies and Questions

Date and time:  Asynchronous (60 minutes)
Location:  Online
For more information please contact

Brain Health:  Presented by Alzheimer Society of Toronto

Thanks to a partnership with the education team at The Alzheimer Society of Toronto, Access Alliance is presenting an opportunity for interpreters to attend the AST’s latest virtual workshop “Brain Health”.

Topics covered:

  • Understanding the risk factors associated with developing dementia​
  • Recognizing how lifestyle plays a role in your risk of developing dementia
  • Taking action to support brain health

Date and time:  Thursday, May 23rd, 2024, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (EST)
Location:  Online

Sickle Cell Disease: A workshop for Interpreters

We are partnering with The Sickle Cell Association of Ontario and Hospital for Sick Children  to offer our Access Alliance Community this workshop. Our objective is to build interpreter capacity to actively participate in the delivery of quality services for impacted communities. We want to build on the momentum of the ongoing research and development of education and care resources that have been recently produced as a result of multi-stakeholder collaborations. Among the different topics that will be covered are the following:

  • What is Sickle Cell Disease?  Who does it affect?  How is it diagnosed?  How is it managed?
  • What to expect at appointments (adult and pediatric care settings)
  • Evolutions in the language of Sickle Cell Disease
  • Terminology Exchange – language specific break-out rooms

For more information please contact:

Date and time: Wednesday November  1st, 2023 – 6 – 7:30 pm

Place: Online

Thank you in advance to our partners for the facilitation of the terminology exchange break-out rooms:

Conestoga College LITP  |  Humber College LITP  |  Interpreter’s Lab  |  Ontario Council on Community Interpreting


The Cyber Security Module

The Cyber Security Module, the first workshop in a series created by the Alliance For Healthier Communities, is now available. The objective of the module is to help individuals protect themselves, their loved ones, and their workplace from being the target of cyber attacks. This course will help you identify when you are vulnerable or being targeted and what steps you can take to protect yourself.  

Please note that this is a self-led, asynchronous workshop that will take approximately 45 to 60 minutes to complete. 

For more information please contact


What is Debriefing?

Join other community interpreters to share experiences of, and strategies for, professionally challenging and/or emotionally distressing aspects of your work as an interpreter.

Sessions take place every other Wednesday from 5 pm to 6 pm on the following dates:
August 23
September 6, 20
October 4, 18
November 1, 15, 29
December 13, 27

Contact for the zoom link.


Special Debrief Session Presented by Wellness Together Canada

The purpose of this session is to learn about Wellness Together Canada (WTC) which is Canada’s first and only virtual portal and app supporting mental health. Users can access immediate, free services such as peer support, counselling, e-courses and more. WTC is available 24/7 and no referral or health card is required. 

Date and time: Wednesday, August 16, 2023 from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm

For more information and to register, please contact


Interpreting for LGBTQ2S+ Newcomers

The purpose of this workshop is to increase familiarity with the history, terminology, and issues faced by this community, and to explore best practices regarding language support services for the various stakeholders involved.

Date and time:  Thursday, June 29, 2023 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

For more information and to register, please contact


Dementia-Friendly Training for Community Interpreters 2023

Guidelines for community interpreters working in the mental health care sector specifically with clients suffering from dementia.  These guidelines will introduce you to preferred person-centered terms that are meant to maintain dignity and respect for all individuals.

Dates and times:
April 27: 6 – 8 pm
May 4:   9 -11 am
May 25: 6 – 8 pm

For more information and to register, please contact


Harm Reduction 101: The Basics

This session is hosted by The Works, Toronto Public Health and presents an introduction to harm reduction theory and practices. 

Session topics include:

  • Definition and core principles of harm reduction
  • History of harm reduction and drug laws in Canada
  • Impacts of stigma associated with drug use
  • Importance of non-judgmental and anti-stigma practices

Session takes place March 22, 2023, 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Zoom.

For more information and to register: 


Interpreter Debriefs

What is Debriefing?
Join other community interpreters to share experiences of, and strategies for, professionally challenging and/or emotionally distressing aspects of your work as an interpreter.

Sessions take place every other Wednesday from 5 pm to 6pm on the following dates:
January 11, 25
February 8, 22
March 8, 22
April 5, 19
May 3, 17, 31
June 14, 28

Contact for the zoom link.


Real Steps to Language Access in Health Systems: A Panel Discussion

Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (Canada and US) 

Access Alliance Language Services invites you to join our panel discussion on Real Steps to Language Access in Health Systems. Following the release of our report “Investing in Language Access to Optimize Health System Performance”, we have brought together a panel of experts to talk about what’s working now and how we can leverage those successes and implement best practices across health systems.

Our panelists will be discussing actions, sharing strategies and best practices. The goal of the event is to contribute to the conversation on language access and to provide various stakeholders with tools to realize the calls to action.

Please join us as we explore what each of us can do to promote language access in health care systems in our own context.

Our esteemed panelists:

  • Doly Begum, MPP for Scarborough Southwest and the Provincial Critic on Citizenship, Foreign Credentials and Immigration Services
  • Lola Bendana, Director at Multi-Languages Corporation, Member and Past-President of the Canadian Language Industry Association of Canada (CLIA)
  • Nishi Kumar, Program Evaluator and Policy Analyst focused on health equity and the social determinants of health
  • Dr. Aitor Montes Lasarte, Family Doctor, Basque Country
  • Angela Sasso, Founder and Director of The Interpreter’s Lab, a program of Shifting Pictures, President of Critical Link International.

Read the literature review, Investing in Language Access to Optimize Health System Performance here.

Recording of panel discussion, Wednesday October 6, 2021


Slide Deck from panel discussion

Community Interpreting in Canada: An information session for Afghan Interpreters and language assistants

Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (Canada and US)

Access Alliance Language Services is hosting an information session for newly arrived Afghan interpreters, language assistants, and their support networks to provide an overview of the community interpreting landscape in Canada.

Please join us to hear about interpreter associations, accreditation/certification frameworks, training options, ILSAT/CILISAT, national standards, role of the CI, trends of on-site/remote, as well as initiatives from across the country relevant to interpreting and language support.

Meeting materials

Download and print slide deck here.