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Video remote interpreting offers courts increased availability, cost savings

Video remote interpreting offers courts increased availability, cost savings

July 19, 2023 -- As courts adopt more permanent remote practices, there is continued emphasis on educating judges and staff on the effective use of technology while preserving litigants’ due process rights. To assist in these efforts, NCSC recently launched a series of webinars to assist interpreters with video remote interpreting.

Video remote interpreting (VRI) is a video telecommunication system that uses devices such as computers, web cameras, or videophones to provide spoken or sign language interpreting services to court users through a remote or off-site interpreter.

VRI can be beneficial if a qualified interpreter or court user is not available to appear in person. It can also be effective in emergencies like the pandemic where courthouse facilities are closed to the public but operations must continue.

“When faced with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, courts had to find alternative ways to ensure continued access to justice. Specifically, it required courts to pivot quickly to virtual courtrooms where all or most of the participants in a proceeding could appear remotely, including the interpreter,” said Brooke Bogue, manager of NCSC’s Language Access Services. “While most courts have resumed in-person appearances, the lessons learned during the height of the pandemic have helped to inform court practices for the future. Courts have recognized the value of being able to conduct certain types of court proceedings more efficiently using VRI and understand that VRI is here to stay.”

She added that VRI provides increased access to qualified court interpreters who can provide services to many more jurisdictions by eliminating travel expenses, impediments, and other considerations. This increased availability can alleviate potential case delays if an interpreter is not able to appear in person. VRI also provides better access to interpreters who are qualified in less common languages.

During NCSC’s webinars, state and federally certified court interpreter Ernest NiƱo-Murcia provides a VRI overview and practical tips for proper equipment, software and pre-proceeding preparation.

To learn more, watch the June 28 platform agnostic webinar, July 6 Zoom webinar or register for the July 26 WebEx webinar.

Deadlines approaching for Data Specialist/IT Summit

Don’t miss out on this year’s Data Specialist/IT Summit Aug. 10 and 11 in Annapolis, Maryland.

Our team has developed an agenda featuring timely topics such as AI, ChatGPT, data quality, future-ready courts and more. The summit will be at the Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts, 187 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis.

Sessions will run from 8:30 to 5:00 p.m. on Aug. 10, and 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 11. A special conference rate of $139/night is available at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Annapolis through this Thursday, July 20. For more information or to register, visit Data Specialists and IT Summit 2023.

Apply today for upcoming backlog reduction learning collaboratives

NCSC is looking for courts to participate in its first set of three backlog reduction learning collaboratives that start at the end of August. Supported by the State Justice Institute, this series of Rapid Response Team collaboratives will include focused conversations about prevalent themes and issues surrounding criminal case backlogs.

The first three collaboratives and survey links include:

Sessions will last 90 minutes, and attendance is capped at 10 jurisdictions. The collaboratives will meet monthly for at least six months. To reserve your space, please complete the linked surveys by Tuesday, Aug. 1.

Contact Nora Sydow for more information.