Over the last 2 years, our founding members have learned much about the legislative process: how to achieve a positive outcome even after a bill has become law. We are now much better positioned and experienced, ready to roll up our sleeves and work with legislators, instead of fighting them. We are ready to educate and connect with them. These are the established and accepted mechanisms that will help further our goals as a profession.
However, we cannot stop there. The international and LEP communities – those in need of language services – require reliable, vetted, and professional translators and interpreters to serve their needs. They may not know what is required to carry out such an undertaking, but we do. And can service these valuable stakeholders better by making professionalization an absolute priority.
The time has come to advocate, educate, and connect at a higher level and AAPTI is spearheading that effort. We are a young profession, but a resilient one that is set to expand as the demand for language access grows. Being active participants instead of bystanders will allow us to shape our own profession.
Our existing professional associations do an excellent job of representing their core group of members. However, many such associations may not be able to fully engage in advocacy and lobbying efforts, by nature of their bylaws and due to taxation considerations. This makes it difficult to go the extra mile for their membership without running into potential legal issues.
But nothing prevents them from backing another organization with a track record and strategy to accomplish the goals we're all aiming for.
And that's where AAPTI comes in. It was formed with a clear advocacy objective – nothing will prevent us from actively engaging with the stakeholders to forge a win-win path forward. We're not just another association but rather an alliance with fresh new ideas that hope to partner with other professional language associations and individual professionals. Most translators and interpreters share many core values. Why not join forces so we can accomplish much more together?
We all want to protect, defend, and improve our profession. We can accomplish these goals much faster by encouraging the active participation of our fellow professionals, whether as individuals or organizations while acknowledging the positive impact we can have on language access. Our two-prong approach is an ambitious one but easily attainable with your support. AAPTI’s core objectives are:
- AAPTI’s goal is to position itself as an advocate group without barriers, be it location, employment, certification, or affiliation. Our view of advocacy goes beyond what members can do themselves.
- AAPTI has contracted the services of a lobbyist.
- AAPTI will engage with our respective legislators to assist them every step of the way. If we are going to have laws on the books that will impact our language sector, then we will be at the forefront.
- As professionals, we can influence legislation to protect language access, not only for our professional interests but because of the people we serve. We are keenly aware of the needs of the non-English speaker to be able to understand.
AAPTI understands the need to educate language professionals in order to improve language access, but we also acknowledge that the public needs to know what we do and why it is imperative to have appropriate certification in every sector of interpreting. As an organization, our focus will be to educate lawmakers, and the public, and lastly, offer learning opportunities for our members. There is still much to be done in terms of certification and the need for more languages. AAPTI focuses on the need for appropriate certification in whatever field chooses to work in. Be it medical, legal, community, or any other sector. We strongly believe that we protect the public and the users of language services when we are appropriately accredited, licensed, or certified for our jobs.
Connections are part of our core needs as human beings. The same is true of our profession. Translators and interpreters get assistance and support from other colleagues. We have seen how social media had benefitted us in this regard.
- Offers forums to allow paying members to connect with each other in a private space. We have one for each interpreting and translation sector that allows for crossover participation to learn from each other.
- Makes every effort to connect with other non-profits and offer our directory for professionals to service them.
- Introduces our organization to all local, state, and national legislators to build long-lasting relationships, regardless of party affiliation.
- Strives to connect local professionals with those in need. Our directory offers a map showing locations to facilitates this action.
None of this will be possible without your support and that of a larger community, those who contract our services. The membership section of our website will display the many ways in which you can be a partner in this much-needed endeavor.
The AAPTI Team