MCIS’ 29th Anniversary – We Couldn’t Have Done It Without Our Language Professionals

By: Jack Xu

We are turning 29!

That’s right, MCIS will complete 29 years in the language service industry in March. All thanks to the language professionals who made us what we are today: a leading language service agency.

So how did it all begin? We started from humble roots in 1989. We were called the Scarborough Cultural Interpreter Pilot Project, with support from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship’s Wife Assault Prevention Initiative.

In 1991, this pilot – envisioned as a complex brokerage model between interpreters and their clients (social service and volunteer agencies) – grew into a full-fledged service.

In 1993, we expanded interpreting services to general welfare clients and to displaced workers, and in 1994, we were reborn once again as MCIS with a mission “to ensure equity and access to services for members of various ethno-racial communities”.

We have come a long way we are proud to celebrate our 29th birthday as a leading non-profit offering 60 plus language services, including translation, transcription, training and accessibility services to over 740 organizations in over 300 languages.

During this growth cycle, over 5,000 of our language professionals stood by and worked with us on a variety of projects spanning the public and private sectors.

One example of this work was the Interpreters4Syria project in 2015, for which we welcomed 25,000 Syrian refugees at various ports of entry with the help of our Arabic and Kurdish interpreters many of whom came to our assistance on very short notice. Incidentally, many of these refugees we welcomed are now being trained by MCIS as part of our Interpreter Training Program.

Another significant milestone was last year, when we created a talent pool of interpreters for Parent-Teacher Meetings at schools under the Peel District School Board and Toronto District School Board, to provide services in-person and over the phone.

Our interpreters are also working with Acces Employment as consultants, and have helped many Syrian refugees with their business plans.

In addition to our interpreters, our translators have contributed to our success tremendously. In a bid to fill languages of lesser diffusion, we applied for a grant through the Ontario Trillium Foundation to train 500 translators through in-person and online modules within three years. We were awarded the grant, and today we take pride in the fact that we have developed a comprehensive curriculum comprising of 40 modules. We aim to train 500 individuals through our in-person and online modules to become qualified translators.

So, we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all our language professionals. We couldn’t have done it without you.

And, for those of you who are interested in our training programs click here. You might be the language professional we are looking for.

-Vivek Vijayapalan, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, February 27, 2018