With over 44 full time staff and a roster of over 5,000 language professionals working in 300+ languages, MCIS provides a full suite of language solutions: from language interpretation, translation and transcription to localization, training and training development for government, legal, police services and healthcare organization. In 2013, Common Sense Advisory confirmed that MCIS is the largest non – profit language solutions provider in the world.
Last year we provided free telephone interpretation services for privately sponsored Syrian refugees settling across Ontario to access a range of services in their local communities.
WHAT IS SOCIAL IMPACT?
Social impact increases social value in terms of generating benefits to society and the economy, while minimizing damage to the environment and people. Social impact shifts the focus from the bottom-line price or cost of a service towards the overall value of its delivered outcomes.
MCIS’ SOCIAL IMPACT
MCIS has created benefits continuously for all of our customers and various stakeholders, ranging from providing jobs for the long-term unemployed, to offering opportunities for training and new skills development to newcomers, to helping individuals or groups, facing social or economic barriers, overcome them by facilitating their access to language services.
Every year MCIS invests a portion of its net income into initiatives that provide free services for vulnerable population (e.g. victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking, homeless) and training subsidies for aspiring interpreters and translators. With a growing demand for language services, a long track record of success, and deep roots in the community, MCIS has positioned itself to capture more market share in the language industry by simply demonstrating a better way to conduct business.
Historically we have measured the value of our social impact/ imprint by focusing on six primary objectives:
1. Improving access to language services for non-English speaking victims of domestic violence/sexual assault/human trafficking and homeless persons as part of our ongoing commitment to remove language barriers for our most vulnerable clients. We have routinely absorbed the cost of interpretation when individuals and organizations have not been able to afford it (up to $10,000/year). In fiscal year 2016, MCIS provided professional language services to 873 customers in public, private and social sectors fulfilling 40,778 requests that varied in scope, scale and complexity.
2. Influencing streamlined access by participating in the conversations and work at the local, provincial, national and international levels.
3. Educating eligible newcomers by providing quality training and offering training subsidies for newcomers to Canada aspiring to become professional interpreters. It is widely known that getting work and exposure to the Canada-specific job market enables faster integration into Canadian society. MCIS subsidizes the training where over 90% of our trainee cohort consists of newcomers who have been in Canada for less than 5 years.
4. Educating public service providers: Given our solid reputation for development of online training programs, in 2013 we were funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General – Ontario Victims Services to develop the Online Training Initiative to Address Human Trafficking. This is one of the most comprehensive, one of a kind bilingual online training programs for service providers that has attracted close to 3000 participants. We also expended a lot of MCIS’ own resources educating public service providers on the importance of using professional community interpreters when serving their non-English/French speaking clients.
5. Providing employment: MCIS provides job opportunities for people who face barriers to employment, in particular those in receipt of social assistance. In partnership with the City of Toronto’s ‘Investing in Neighbourhoods’ programs, we recruit individuals subsidized by the City for a year, train them and following that year absorb 25% of all such recruits permanently into our payroll. We have been engaged with this program for over 7 years and have hired 9 permanent employees from the program.
6. Advocating for change:
Legislation – MCIS advocates for changes to legislation to ensure continued and enhanced access to public sector services for limited and non-English/French speakers. MCIS is part of networks that are involved in legislative reform, which include professional recognition for Community Interpreters and mandated use of Community Interpreters in all primary health care facilities and legal fora.
7. Engaging interpreters & translators with local linguistic communities:
– Social Impact of Translation (2014) gathered translators and language rights activists who believe that translators are the key instrument to ensuring access to human rights and freedom of expression.
– Food for Language (2013) – MCIS’ collaborative writing project, a recipe book and collection of narratives shared by MCIS Language Services and Sandgate Shelter staff. The collection captured the dynamic relationship between food and personal narratives while showing the audience how food transcends culture and contributes to Canada’s multicultural fabric and global citizenship. All proceeds of the book towards supporting the Community Kitchen program at the Sandgate Shelter (the book is available on Amazon in printed and Kindle versions).
Since its inception in 1989, MCIS has remained primarily committed to vulnerable persons and their rights to access important public services which help them navigate situations of crisis. MCIS has facilitated communication between limited English/French speakers who are in need and a range of services in the public sector: shelters, law enforcement, healthcare and criminal justice system agencies.
Non-profit service providers, agencies that we assist in providing direct services to those in need of language services, and aspiring and established language professionals are our strategic partners with whom we build the sector capacity ensuring both, appropriate referrals to professional language services and increased public awareness about language barriers, and industry standards to address them.
Theory of Change (ToC) is a type of methodology important for strategic planning, engagement, participation and evaluation of efforts used in non-profits and governments to promote social change. Unlike the logic model that describes the activities of organization by inputs, outputs and intermediate and long term outcomes, the ToC defines long-term goals, mapping them back to preconditions. ToC processes usually begin with the creation …