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  • Writer's pictureBayLeigh Routt

Introducing My AmeriCorps VISTA Site

The Kentucky Interpreter and Translator Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that has been in existence since 2006. KITA helps build infrastructure for the more than 153 languages spoken in Kentucky and advocates for trained, qualified interpreters in medical, legal, community, government, school, nonprofit, and other settings. The organization provides continuing education opportunities and an open forum for interpreters and translators to exchange ideas and experiences. KITA also offers medical interpreter training in order to facilitate access to health care and other fundamental services for the Limited-English Proficient, Deaf, and heard of hearing communities. KITA promotes professionalism and public awareness of the importance of providing quality interpretation and translation services.

In addition, the Kentucky Interpreter and Translator Association fundraises to provide scholarships for bilingual individuals to take the Core Medical Interpreter Training (CMIT), which is a 64-hour course a bilingual individual can take to become a certified interpreter. Through these proactive measures, KITA helps bilingual individuals learn how to work and interpret in a professional setting as well as utilize their skill set to serve their community and become a viable, informed interpreter. The Association also fosters community outreach by visiting nearby universities and attendance at community health fairs in order to educate the community about their rights to an interpreter and access services at any organization who receives federal funding. KITA also provides continuing education units (CEUs) for certified interpreters and translators as a way of furthering professional development.

As the AmeriCorps VISTA Language Access Outreach Specialist, it is my responsibility to build the capacity of the Kentucky Interpreter and Translator Association by developing and implementing outreach systems and partnerships with community organizations, local businesses, and public education institutions to increase knowledge of KITA’s services and mission. To promote the organization and develop partnerships, I will coordinate fundraisers at local restaurants, coffee shops, and breweries; I will also attend other organization’s meetings to establish connections to help KITA’s targeted audience and members. It is also my responsibility to strengthen the nonprofit’s digital brand and develop informational marketing materials, including educational and quality graphics that can be used on social media or traditional media.

Over the next year, I will also participate in national days of service and recognition with the Plantory VISTA cohort. Once each month I will also attend monthly development meetings at the Plantory with the other VISTA cohort members and learn ways to enhance capacity building at our site, develop skills to grow personally or professionally, and more.


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