MCIS connects at Homeless Connect Toronto

by: Alanna Quinn, Business Development Coordinator On Oct. 27, volunteers and interpreters from MCIS returned to Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre for the 7th annual Homeless Connect Toronto event. The event was held to provide typically costly human services, such as dental care, eye care, foot care and haircuts, amongst over 30 other types of services, free of charge to those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. MCIS’ role at the event was to connect native…

Participating as a Volunteer and Translator at the Localization Lab Event for International Translation Day

by: Ixchel Cervantes, Project Coordinator, Translation Services On a rainy Saturday in downtown Toronto, MCIS staff, Localization Lab organizers, translators, and other participants gathered together to explore the world of Internet Accessibility and the tools that facilitate this accessibility for people all over the world, at the Mozilla office in Toronto. As a not particularly tech-savvy person, the concept of Psiphon was foreign to me, I have never experienced myself what it was like to…

Bridging the Linguistic Divide: The Impact of Language Rights on Internet Freedom

By Andrea Brás from Localization Lab Access to information on the Internet differs from one language to another; however, users might be surprised at just how much the language they speak conditions their Internet experience. More than 50% of the Internet is in English, which far surpasses the world’s native English speakers and doesn’t come close to representing other majority languages. iIn fact, according to some researchers, German is the second most visible language online…

Language Justice Series, Localization Sprint: Psiphon for Translators and Language Justice Activists

By: Eliana Trinaistic, Social Impact Manager Several months ago, Open Mind, a weekly public affairs program designed to elicit meaningful insights into the challenges of contemporary policies, talked to Dragana Kaurin, a fellow at the Berkman Klein Centre, a human rights activist, researcher, and founder of Localization Lab, an organization that builds bridges between developers, organizations, users and communities in need, facilitating more accurate translations and  better Internet access: “Unlike 25 years ago when Bosnians…

Language Policy Hackathon: Report

By: Eliana Trinaistic, MCIS Language Solutions & Niha Shahzad, Policy Innovation Initiative Click here to read the final report. Language access is a complex topic and one that is highly volatile. On the one hand, the views on language access are constantly changing and evolving due to changes in migration patterns or technology. On the other hand, they remain fundamentally grounded in the concept of nationhood. The scope of language rights is determined by a…

Highlights from the Human Trafficking Webinar

By Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator In early August, MCIS hosted a free webinar with the theme of Human Trafficking: The Diasporic Network Approach & the Ethnic Trap. The event was held in collaboration with Talija Koncar, an independent researcher with a Master of Art’s degree from University of Toronto in The Centre of European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies. Funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General, the webinar served as a complementary component to…

Multiculturalism in Canada: Are We Doing Enough to Promote Linguistic Diversity?

By Sanah Matadar, Social Media Coordinator Most people, both inside and outside the borders of Canada, are familiar with the generalization that Canada is a very multicultural nation. At the very least, this sentiment is always brought up when discussing Canada’s major cities. Every opportunity we get, we celebrate this image of diversity and openness to multiculturalism. Take the following stories and ads as examples: https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/hockey-night-punjabi-representation/ https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-raptors-inspiring-city-and-country-1.5149411 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQzxb-lU2pk Certain facts definitely reinforce this idea of…

Beyond Mogadishu: Shirin Ramzanali Fazel on Migration, Languages, and Reclaiming Her Voice

Interview by: Eliana Trinaistic, Social Impact Manager Shirin Ramzanali Fazel (1953) is an Italian writer of Somali and Pakistani origin, one of the pioneers of the movement known as Italian Migration Literature (letteratura italiana della migrazione), whose writings have been studied both in Italy and abroad. She was born in Mogadishu at the time of prosperity, tolerance and peaceful living amongst nations, including Somalis, Arabs, Sikhs and Chinese. In 1971, with her husband and young…

Aphasia Awareness: No Matter What Language You Speak, Language Matters

June is Aphasia Awareness Month, which is as good a time as any to share how much it shocks me that so few people know about Aphasia. Consider that 1 in 3 Canadians who survive a stroke have Aphasia. The disorder is not uncommon, and it’s certainly something that cannot be ignored, especially as rates are expected to increase with Canada’s silver tsunami (i.e. ageing population). My first exposure to Aphasia was in the first…

Decolonizing Memories: Takeaways from the Memories of Mogadishu Conference

By Eliana Trinaistic, Social Impact Manager The Memories of Mogadishu Conference (#MOM19), which took place at the Ottawa Art Gallery on May 4th, 2019, was curated by documentary filmmaker and second generation Somali-Canadian Asha Siad. The goal of the conference was to gather international speakers, most of them with strong ties to Somalia and Mogadishu, storytellers, historians, members of the library and archival community, as well as students of Somali origin to explore themes regarding the…