COVID Stories: Highlights of Challenges Facing Ontario’s Language Services Sector

By: Craig Carter-Edwards The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a stress-test for many essential services offered in Ontario. It has brought to light the challenges, inequities and structural flaws within systems designed to support the health and well-being of Ontarians. These challenges, of course, existed before COVID-19, but this crisis has increased the level of general public’s awareness of them. Among these are translation and interpretation services. Many Ontarians with limited knowledge of English and/or…

The Elephant in the Room

By: Sarah Haque It affects all of us. Public Health Agency of Canada findings indicate that 1 in 3 of us will experience mental illness in our lifetime. So chances are someone we care about might be suffering right now. Today, I want to talk about the importance of being aware of mental health issues in our work lives. Research shows that half a million Canadians miss work every year because of their mental health….

COVID Stories: A Conversation with Social Planning Toronto

By: Eliana Trinaistic, Social Impact Manager Social Planning Toronto is a non-profit, charitable community organization that has been working on improving equity, social justice and quality of life in Toronto through community capacity building, education and advocacy, policy research and analysis, and social reporting. The organization is committed to building a “civic society,” one in which diversity, equity, social and economic justice, interdependence, and active civic participation are central to all aspects of life. As…

7 Must-Read Books in Translation

By: Sanskriti Ravi, Communications Intern COVID-19 has reshaped our world in many ways and has forced people to spend a lot more time at home. While it has been a difficult transition, it has offered all of us an opportunity to slow down and refocus our attention on hobbies we had become too busy to prioritize; to call friends we haven’t spoken to in a while; to start that fitness journey we had been postponing;…

COVID Stories: From The Neighbourhood Organization to the Neighbourhood

By: Alanna Quinn, Engagement Coordinator Darcy MacCallum, Director of Family & Wellness at The Neighbourhood Organization (TNO), sat down with MCIS to discuss the support that TNO provides to Thorncliffe Park, Flemingdon Park, St. James Town, and Crescent Town. Thorncliffe Park and area has been supported by TNO since 1985, and Darcy shared TNO’s successes and some of the hardships endured in the neighbourhood. Last month, MCIS had the privilege of translating TNO’s Emergency Food…

What the World Has Done to Make Masks Communication-Friendly

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator Since the end of May, Canada has officially suggested wearing face masks as an effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Earlier in June, the WHO also raised a similar suggestion on the use of masks in public. Masks, whether we are willing to admit it or not, have become one of the phenomena representing the year 2020. Along with the masks though, there came the concern over…

COVID Stories: An interview with Shelter Movers

By: Alanna Quinn, Engagement Coordinator MCIS had the privilege of interviewing Shelter Movers’ Expansion Director, Amanda Levine, about how the community can get involved with the organization, and how Shelter Movers is operating during the pandemic. The organization is supporting women in their communities in every way they can: from donating storage units to survivors of domestic violence to helping individuals leave unsafe home situations. By doing this, Shelter Movers aims to give individuals strength to…

The Magic of Language Services in Health Care

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator As a non-native English speaker, ever since I came to Canada, I set this ground rule for myself: my future life partner has to speak English well. He doesn’t need to get a perfect 9 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) tests, but he needs to be able to communicate with a doctor if I unfortunately am ever found to be in the position that I cannot….

COVID-19 Stories: Hanen Nanaa, Campaigning for An Inclusive Canada

MCIS recently had the pleasure of interviewing Hanen Nanaa, a young, passionate individual dedicated to supporting newcomers in feeling welcomed and connected to their communities. Hanen is very special to MCIS as she was the youngest recipient to receive the Interpreter Training Scholarship in 2016. She has only been in Canada for four years and has already been accepted to Ryerson University, volunteered with many newcomers’ organizations, and began leading Books, Arts, and Music Collective…

Language Access and COVID-19 Information – How’s the World Doing?

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) announced COVID-19 as a pandemic, the widespread of the novel coronavirus officially became a global issue. As of today, most of the countries in the world have published official instructions on how to self-assess, how to prevent the disease, and what to do if one’s close contacts have tested positive for the virus. Most of these guidelines are written in each country’s official languages. However, the prevention of a…