COVID Stories: Translators: The behind-the-scenes crew of the COVID-19 pandemic

By: Nicole Anichini, Translation Manager It has been almost a year since COVID-19 started spreading around the world like wildfire. In this time, the importance of language services has become more apparent than ever. ICES, a non-profit research institute that focuses on public health-related data in Ontario, published a report in September 2020 showing that, in Ontario, COVID is disproportionately affecting immigrants, refugees and newcomers to Canada. While immigrants, refugees and newcomers only make up…

COVID Stories: An Interview with Project Abraham

By: Ashley Tulio, Communications Specialist As a part of our COVID Series blogs, MCIS recently interviewed Debbie Rose, Executive Director of Project Abraham. Project Abraham’s mission is to provide aid and assistance to refugees and immigrants who are in need and who are victims of war, persecution, unfair discrimination, or natural disasters. They does this by operating a sponsorship program to Canada. Once the refugees and immigrants come to Canada, Project Abraham’s mission is to…

COVID Stories: COVID-19 and the Limits of Machine Translation

By: Sara Parker-Toulson, RFP Coordinator Public displays of information on COVID-19 seem to be everywhere now, reminding us to wash our hands, keep six feet between one another, and to wear our masks. Information about how COVID-19 is quickly spread, about signs and symptoms we need to watch out for, and the latest data on infection rates and mortality is now widely available in a variety of formats. But what if you don’t speak one…

Covid Stories: Giving Voice to Victims of Human Trafficking

“Without translation, we would be living in provinces bordering on silence.” (George Steiner). By: Dusan Matic, Training Department Manager Human trafficking, especially labour trafficking, remains a major problem in Canada to this day. Sometimes it can be difficult to process that in a progressive and open-minded country such as ours, thousands of foreign workers face victimization, abuse and trafficking. We tend to believe that labour trafficking happens somewhere far away from our homes. How many times have we…

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…

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…