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Provincial Language Service

The Provincial Language Service provides interpreting and translation services to BC health authorities and private physician offices.




What we do

We help organizations provide services to their linguistically and culturally diverse clients including immigrants, refugees, official minority language speakers and members of the deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing community through high-quality interpreting and translation.

PLS grew out of the Office for Cross-Cultural Care and Diversity (OCCC). The OCCC provided culturally and linguistically appropriate services at BC Children’s Hospital, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children and BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre. 

In 2003, the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) created PLS so all PHSA programs and other B.C. health care organizations could benefit from these specialized language services.


At Provincial Language Service, quality assurance is a multi-level process embedded in all aspects of our service delivery. Our processes contribute to a culture of continuous improvement of our services and organization.


Provincial Language Service adheres to strict policies and procedures on professional conduct. Any complaint or incident regarding an interpreter, health care program, external customer or Provincial Language Service staff member is documented, investigated and tracked.


Interpreter incident reporting process


In fall 2016, the Provincial Language Service (PLS) initiated a review of the Medical Interpreting Service which provides American Sign Language interpreting for deaf patients to ensure it was best meeting the needs of its stakeholder. A summary report and ASL Translation of the findings has been prepared, and PLS is currently reviewing the report recommendations and determining next steps. Any change to the service will include outreach to the deaf community.


PLS is connected to community-based agencies and programs across British Columbia. These partnerships allow PLS to harmoniously connect expertise in service delivery with the specific needs of the local community.

Our highly qualified language and customer service specialists have many years of experience working across language and cultures in: 

  • Project management
  • Linguistics
  • Business administration
  • Communications
  • Other related areas


More interpreters hired to meet needs of new refugees

In response to Canada’s support of the Syrian refugee crisis, PLS hired and trained additional interpreters dedicated to languages spoken by refugee populations.


Healthy Living guide translation

PLS Translation Services translated a BC Mental Health & Subtance Use Services' popular healthly living guide, Healthy Living...It's in Everyone. The French toolkit is available in print or online to BC families, as well as organizations serving BC's francophone families.


The Language Access policy directs PHSA staff on the appropriate use of language services to reduce or eliminate language barriers to optimize the delivery of safe and equitable care. 


Please view the policy by visiting Policies & Procedures under the Workplace Resources section on the PHSA POD intranet site. Note, access to POD is only available from a computer on the appropriate network.


We collect your personal information as authorized under section 26(c) of the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act ("FIPPA") to provide interpreting services to you. We collect your name, address, telephone number and purpose of visit. If you have questions or concerns about how your information is collected or used, you may contact:


Provincial Language Service

Phone number: 604-297-8400

Email: pls@phsa.ca

Content

We give high priority to quality assurance and your feedback is important to us. 


Interpreting or translation services: send questions, feedback and concerns to plsqualityassurance@phsa.ca. We are committed to constant improvements in service delivery to all our customers.

Provincial Language Service adheres to strict policies and procedures on professional conduct. Any complaint or incident regarding an interpreter, health care agency, external customer or Provincial Language Service staff member is documented, investigated and tracked: Interpreter incident reporting process.


PHSA facilities: contact the Patient Care Quality Office if your feedback is related to PHSA facilities, staff or services outside of interpreting and translation services.



In the community

Provincial Language Service is committed to providing top-quality language services for people who are accessing health care services across BC.

We believe in building stronger connections and being involved in the delivery of language services (interpreter, translation and services to Francophones) to improve equitable access, and we have been actively engaging with community members to better understand their current needs. 

Community annoucement for deaf, deaf-blind & hard of hearing Community annoucement for deaf, deaf-blind & hard of hearing

Community Advisory Group for provincial medical Sign language interpreting service established


Community Advisory Group Announcement - ASL Video


Earlier this year, PLS put out a call for applications to community advisor roles supporting Sign language interpretive services. We are excited to announce that the Community Advisory Group (CAG) for the Provincial Medical Sign Language Interpreting Service has been established.

 

This is the first CAG for the service established by PLS, a program of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). We look forward to working closely with this eight-member community advisory group to continually improve equitable access to health care services for deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing patients across British Columbia.

 

We would like to thank everyone who took the time to apply to become a member of the CAG. Sixteen applications from very qualified applicants representing diverse perspectives were received. After a comprehensive analysis of all the perspective presented by each candidate, the selection committee chose seven members based on the pre-set primary and secondary criteria. One spot is saved for Indigenous representation.

 

Primary criteria were:

  1. Geographic representation: ensuring we have representatives from Greater Vancouver, the Interior, Vancouver Island, and the North.
  2. Diversity in type of language support required: ensuring we have representatives who are deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing.

Secondary criteria were related to diversity of representatives related to the following categories:

  1. Age
  2. Indigenous ancestry
  3. Gender identity
  4. Urban/non-urban representation
  5. Immigrants/refugees
  6. Deaf-plus representation: ensuring that we have representatives for as many of the listed categories.

The seven selected members provide the most diverse representation of perspectives based on the selection criteria and those who applied.

 

Members selected are:

  1. Craig MacLean (Deaf-blind/Lower Mainland)
  2. Dan Braun (Deaf/Lower Mainland)
  3. Gordon Rattray (Hard of hearing/Interior)
  4. Leanor Vlug (Deaf/Lower Mainland)
  5. Monika Lane (Deaf/Vancouver Island)
  6. Nancy Zavaglia (Deaf/North - Prince George)
  7. Sarah Taylor (Deaf/Lower Mainland)

The first meeting of the CAG will be held in November 2019. We look forward to this first inaugural meeting.

 

Selection Committee Members:

The members of the selection committee were recruited from within internal government resources based on their neutrality (had not applied to be on CAG) and their understanding of the health care system. Selection committee was made up of two deaf people and one hearing and signing person. The process was facilitated by a neutral, third-party stakeholder engagement firm, Delaney + Associates.

 

Our commitment to the deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing community 


The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) is committed to providing top-quality interpreting services for deaf, hard-of-hearing and deaf-blind people who are accessing health care across BC.

We believe the Deaf community should be integrally involved in the delivery of interpreting services to improve equitable access, and we have been actively engaging with community members to better understand their current needs. Engagement work with the community is focused on future planning for a medical sign language service. We are seeking input about opportunities to innovate, redesign and improve this service within existing available resources.


In 2016 PHSA began reviewing interpreting services for the deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind people. Through the review process, we learned there is confusion around what medical services are covered and how these decisions are made. We also learned that the community wants to provide regular input so the service remains current, and we need to utilize a comprehensive approach to the model to ensure the service is delivered consistently across BC.


 Engaging with Deaf Community to improve medical Sign language interpreting

Phase 3 community engagement


‎Thank you all who participated in the PLS Community Engagement project that sought input in to improvements for the Provincial Sign language Medical Interpreting service. Phase III of the engagement was completed in September 2018. We have since been working on the development of the Phase III visual and written report. 



Phase 2 community engagement

Phase 2 Report Summary ASL video


Provincial Medical Sign Language Interpreting Service Engagement - Summary of Input Received - Phase 2.pdf


Community Engagement phase 2 visual report.pdf


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Join us
PLS welcomes qualified language professionals to join our team. We offer competitive contracts to our freelance interpreters and translators. As a PLS contractor you will have access to several benefits.

Interpreters 

Benefits:
  • Connection with a network of professionals like yourself
  • Competitive rates
  • Support from PLS Staff
  • Technology to support coordination of your assignments
  • Liability coverage
  • Ongoing professional development opportunities

If you are interested in sending your resume to The Provincial Language Service please email plsapplications@phsa.ca.

Requirements:

Translators 

Benefits:
  • Connection to a network of professionals
  • Competitive rates
  • Support from PLS Staff
  • Coordinated projects
Requirements:
  • Excellent comprehension of written English
  • Excellent command of and writing skill in additional language or languages
  • Professional credentials for translators (i.e. membership in STIBC or other professional organization)
  • Advanced computer literacy

Other language professionals 

PLS engages other language professionals on a contract and as-needed basis. These include bilingual desktop publishers, graphic designers and voice-over talents. To be considered for future contracts, please send a cover letter and your resume by email. 

Feedback

We give high priority to quality assurance and your feedback is important to us. 

Interpreting or translation servicessend questions, feedback and concerns to plsqualityassurance@phsa.ca. We are committed to constant improvements in service delivery to all our customers.

Provincial Language Service adheres to strict policies and procedures on professional conduct. Any complaint or incident regarding an interpreter, health care agency, external customer or Provincial Language Service staff member is documented, investigated and tracked: Interpreter incident reporting process.


PHSA facilities: contact the Patient Care Quality Office if your feedback is related to PHSA facilities, staff or services outside of interpreting and translation services. 

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