Elizabeth Adare Harrison, OTD, OTR/L
PhD Candidate in Disability Studies; Teaching and Research
Assistant, Department of Occupational Therapy at University of Illinois at Chicago
Mansha Mirza, PhD, MS HSOR, OTR/L
Assistant Professor, Departments of Occupational Therapy and
Disability and Human Development at University of Illinois at Chicago
Earn .1 AOTA CEU (1.25 NBCOT PDU/1 contact hour)
Being able to communicate across languages is essential to providing safe, quality care to clients with limited English proficiency (LEP) and to meeting our legal and ethical responsibilities as occupational therapy practitioners (OTPs). Working with professional language interpreters is the primary way for most practitioners to effectively collaborate with clients with LEP. However, very few OTPs receive training in working with interpreters, and interpreters remain underused in practice. This article provides contextual information and practical skills for working with interpreters in occupational therapy.
1. Identify the legal, ethical, and safety concerns associated with language barriers and inadequate use of professional interpreters.
2. Select evidence-based recommendations for providing language services in occupational therapy settings.
3. Describe practice skills for working with language interpreters, including remote (phone or video) interpreters.
4. Recognize the role of occupational therapy providers in advocacy for interpretation and translation services.