Community Interpreter Services : Building relationships through language
holding hands

Who We Are

Established in 1986, Community Interpreter Services (CIS) assists persons with limited English proficiency (LEP) in accessing legal, medical, educational and corporate services through the provision of interpretation and written translation.

We work with corporations and agencies that have diverse customer bases and employee populations to overcome cultural barriers. We partner with more than 150 trained interpreters and translators, who collectively are fluent in over 80 languages.

We are members of the American Translators Association, the International Medical Interpreters Association, the Association of Language Companies and the New England Translators Association. We are an authorized state vendor under contract PRF 48.

Making a Difference

Community Interpreter Services is a social enterprise of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston, one of the largest providers of social services in MA. By utilizing CIS you are supporting programs that serve over 200,000 individuals a year. Find out more about how you are making a difference at ccab.org

ccab

Why do I need interpretation and translation services?

Interpretation and translation services are critical to providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services to LEP (limited English proficient) persons. Using an interpreter or translation service plays an important role in your agency’s risk management plan.

Which service do I need?

Interpretation provides two or more parties with the ability to communicate directly with each other in a language that is familiar and understood by each party.

Translation transforms the written word into a language that is understood by the desired audience.

Why can’t my client’s family member or friend interpret?
Family members, friends, coworkers and community members should never serve as interpreters. There are a number of potential risks: loss of confidentiality, inaccurate interpretation, breach of ethics, and legal liability. Using a family member or friend negatively affects everyone: the LEP person’s care or service, the family member providing the interpretation and the organization providing the service. Professional interpreters receive formal training and are bound by ethical standards of patient confidentiality and accurate interpreting. Professional interpreters are knowledgeable of field terminology, remain impartial and conduct themselves in a formal manner. Professional interpreters should be utilized to facilitate the most favorable results for all parties and avoid the aforementioned risks.

Couldn’t I just use a free online translation tool?
Online tools cannot produce accurate and quality translations. These tools convert text from one language to another by breaking down the material into small segments and individual words and translating them into the desired language using algorithms and pre-existing online translations. These tools do not understand or take into consideration grammar, context, register, and tone. Using our translation services ensures you receive an accurate, quality translation.

How does interpretation and translation fit into my agency’s risk management plan? 
Using professional interpretation and translation services helps mitigate risk when dealing with LEP persons, particularly in healthcare and legal settings. By not using an interpreter, an agency or provider assumes the risk for potential for loss of confidentiality, misdiagnosis, and/or uninformed consent for treatment or services. This oversight can lead to increase in liability, healthcare or legal costs and poor health or legal outcomes. Professional interpretation and translation services can decrease the risk of malpractice lawsuits or other litigation that result from a lack of clear communication between LEP and providers.

What is Title VI and why is it related to language access?
Title VI was enacted as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin by programs and agencies receiving federal financial assistance. Pursuant to Title VI, in 2000 the President signed Executive Order 13166, “Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency” which further implements and enforces this Act. Executive Order 13166 requires federal agencies to examine and identify the need for their services to LEP persons and develop and implement a plan to ensure the LEP persons meaningful access to those services, and ensure that agencies receiving federal financial assistance are doing the same.

Are there any other regulations related to language access?
While Executive Order 13166 is the most prominent language access law, the following regulations are also related:

  • Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978
  • Americans with Disability Act of 1990 (ADA)
  • Health Information Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 (GLBA)
  • Centers for Medicare and Medical Services (CMS)
  • Fraud, Waste and Abuse (FWA)

Community Interpreter Services offers the following interpretation and translation services:

On-Site Oral Interpretation

Our most popular service, On-Site Oral Interpretation, is provided by an interpreter at an appointment or meeting. This is the recommended interpretation method for appointments. Using an on-site interpreter provides two or more parties with the ability to communicate in a familiar language and increases understanding of cultural nuances because the interpreter is physically present.

Professional Conference Interpretation

For a conference or large meeting, we provide simultaneous interpretation. An on-site interpreter communicates the message simultaneously to LEP persons via wireless audio equipment.

Human Resources Training Interpretation

Our interpreters are also experienced in providing interpretation for HR trainings. Below are a few examples in which it would be valuable to provide an interpreter for a limited English employee:

  • Compliance Training
  • Human Resources Orientation
  • Safety Training
  • Performance Review
  • Explanation of Benefits
  • Annual Company Meetings
View Languages

On-Demand Telephonic Interpretation

We offer On-Demand Telephonic Interpretation for last minute, emergency or after-hours appointments. While we highly recommend scheduling an appointment with an on-site interpreter, we understand there are instances when this is not a possibility. On-demand service is available 24/7/365 from any location using a toll-free phone number.

View Languages

American Sign Language (ASL) Video Interpretation

We offer an effective, timely and economical alternative to an on-site ASL interpreterA simple internet connection links to an ASL interpreter to help communicate with deaf and hard of hearing individuals. This service is available 24/7/365.

Written Translation

We will manage the written translation process from start to finish. We can translate a document or review/edit a document that has already been translated. Our expertise ranges from Individual Education Program (IEPs) to professional presentations. A notarized certificate of translation can be provided for any translation upon request.

View Languages

FAQ:

Interpretation provides two or more parties with the ability to communicate the spoken word with each other in a language that is familiar to both parties. Written translation transforms the written word in to a language that is understood by the desired audience.
Online tools cannot produce accurate and quality translations. These tools convert text from one language to another by breaking down the material into small segments and individual words and translating them into the desired language using algorithms and pre-existing online translations. These tools do not understand or take into consideration grammar, context, register, and tone. Using our translation services ensures you receive an accurate, quality translation.
Family members, friends, coworkers and community members should never serve as interpreters. There are a number of potential risks: loss of confidentiality, inaccurate interpretation, breach of ethics, and legal liability. Using a family member or friend negatively affects everyone: the LEP person’s care or service, the family member providing the interpretation and the organization providing the service. Professional interpreters receive formal training and are bound by the ethical standards of patient confidentiality and accurate interpreting. Professional interpreters are knowledgeable of field terminology, remain impartial and conduct themselves in a formal manner. Professional interpreters should be utilized to facilitate the most favorable results for all parties and avoid the aforementioned risks.
Using professional interpretation and translation services helps mitigate risk when dealing with LEP persons, particularly in healthcare and legal settings. By not using an interpreter, an agency or provider assumes the risk for potential for loss of confidentiality, misdiagnosis, and/or uninformed consent for treatment or services. This oversight can lead to increase in liability, healthcare or legal costs and poor health or legal outcomes. Professional interpretation and translation services can decrease the risk of malpractice lawsuits or other litigation that result from a lack of clear communication between LEP and providers.
Title VI was enacted as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin by programs and agencies receiving federal financial assistance. Pursuant to Title VI, in 2000 the President signed Executive Order 13166, “Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency” which further implements and enforces this Act. Executive Order 13166 requires federal agencies to examine and identify the need for their services to LEP persons and develop and implement a plan to ensure the LEP persons meaningful access to those services, and ensure that agencies receiving federal financial assistance are doing the same.
While Executive Order 13166 is the most prominent language access law, the following regulations are also related:

  • Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978
  • Americans with Disability Act of 1990 (ADA)
  • Health Information Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 (GLBA)
  • Centers for Medicare and Medical Services (CMS)
  • Fraud, Waste and Abuse (FWA)
We currently offer On-Site Interpretation throughout Massachusetts and surrounding areas. We offer On-Demand Telephonic Interpretation nationwide.
We request 48 hours in advance of the appointment, however we do our best to accommodate all requests. For last minute or emergency appointments we offer On-Demand Telephonic Interpretation.
Yes, our interpreters are trained and experienced. They have completed professional interpreter certificate programs and are always continuing their education.
Our interpreters and translators agree and adhere to HIPPA, confidentiality standards and the interpreter code of ethics.
We would be happy to help train you and/or your staff on how to work with a interpreter. Please contact us to schedule a training session.
Yes, we generally request 48 hours notice so that we can ensure receipt of equipment and test it before the appointment.
You can obtain a quote for a translation project by sending the materials and a completed request form to us via email at cis_request@ccab.org or by fax at 617.464.8151.
Our translators are experienced and trained through professional translation certifications and degrees. Many are members of professional translation organizations such as the New England Translators Association and the American Translators Association. Based on your project’s needs, our staff carefully selects a translator or translators from our pool, taking into consideration important factors such as content and target audience.
If you are interested in becoming an interpreter please contact us. Please note that interpreters must have successfully completed a professional interpreter certificate program and have interpreting experience in order to be considered.

We request 48 hours in advance of the appointment, however we do our best to accommodate all requests. For last minute or emergency appointments we offer On-Demand Telephonic Interpretation.
We would be happy to help train you and/or your staff on how to work with a interpreter. Please contact us to schedule a training session.
Family members, friends, coworkers and community members should never serve as interpreters. There are a number of potential risks: loss of confidentiality, inaccurate interpretation, breach of ethics, and legal liability. Using a family member or friend negatively affects everyone: the LEP person’s care or service, the family member providing the interpretation and the organization providing the service. Professional interpreters receive formal training and are bound by the ethical standards of patient confidentiality and accurate interpreting. Professional interpreters are knowledgeable of field terminology, remain impartial and conduct themselves in a formal manner. Professional interpreters should be utilized to facilitate the most favorable results for all parties and avoid the aforementioned risks.
Yes, we generally request 48 hours notice so that we can ensure receipt of equipment and test it before the appointment.
We currently offer On-Site Interpretation throughout Massachusetts and surrounding areas. We offer On-Demand Telephonic Interpretation nationwide.
Yes, our interpreters are trained and experienced. They have completed professional interpreter certificate programs and are always continuing their education.
If you are interested in becoming an interpreter please contact us. Please note that interpreters must have successfully completed a professional interpreter certificate program and have interpreting experience in order to be considered.
Online tools cannot produce accurate and quality translations. These tools convert text from one language to another by breaking down the material into small segments and individual words and translating them into the desired language using algorithms and pre-existing online translations. These tools do not understand or take into consideration grammar, context, register, and tone. Using our translation services ensures you receive an accurate, quality translation.
Our translators are experienced and trained through professional translation certifications and degrees. Many are members of professional translation organizations such as the New England Translators Association and the American Translators Association. Based on your project’s needs, our staff carefully selects a translator or translators from our pool, taking into consideration important factors such as content and target audience.
You can obtain a quote for a translation project by sending the materials and a completed request form to us via email at cis_request@ccab.org or by fax at 617.464.8151.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

captcha

Community Interpreter Services
275 West Broadway
South Boston, MA 02127

Phone: 1.617.464.8100
Fax: 1.617.464.8151
Email: cis_request@ccab.org
Web: www.communityinterpreterservices.org

Request Form