Spanish Interpreters Trained in Serving People with IDD in Medical Settings (NY UUCEDD/LEND)

April 9, 2018

Through funding from the WITH Foundation, Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities partnered with University of Rochester Medical Center Interpreter Services, Ibero-American Action League, and Jeiri Flores and Jensen Caraballo, two Latinx self-advocates, to deliver a training to Spanish medical interpreters, medical liaisons, and Medicaid Service Coordinators to improve the healthcare experience for Spanish-speaking people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Built over a six-month period, the training covered health disparities for people with IDD, disability history, intersections between Latinx and disability cultural values, and communication strategies for working with patients. While interpreters are familiar with many Latinx cultural values, they were able to consider how these cultural values impact Latinx people with IDD in medical settings, and how to act as advocates in ensuring patient understanding.

"The interpreters were receptive and eager to expand their knowledge and understanding, and as the first training came to a close we realized that we had created something that was not only unique but needed," according to Jeiri Flores, self-advocate and trainer on this project. Training evaluations confirm Jeiri's impressions, with over 90% of trainers expressing high satisfaction with the training, and many commenting that the opportunity to learn directly from Jeiri and Jensen was the most valuable part. While the funding for this project has ended, we are seeking to continue exploring intersectionality by adding at least one other minority population, and expanding the training to a wider healthcare audience who will benefit from explorations of intersectionality of disability and racial/ethnic minority cultures. We will be presenting this work at the University of Rochester Diversity Conference in April, and at the Self Advocates Becoming Empowered Conference in June.