Company donates translation services to nonprofit – Osceola News-Gazette

In an effort to better serve those in crisis, a local language interpretation company is donating services to The Center.

Orlando-based CCI Group will offer translations and interpretations for people served by The Center, an LGBTQ+ organization with offices in Kissimmee and Orlando. It will allow participants to utlize the company’s worldwide network of interpreters and translators of more than 200 different languages.

“Many times, the people we serve are talking about extremely personal and sensitive subjects and, in the past, would need to bring a family member or friend to interpret for them,” said Joel Morales, director of operations for The Center.

“Unfortunately, in too many cases, this would result in the individual not coming to us to keep their needs a secret. Thanks to the work of CCI Group, this will not happen again,” Morales said.

The Center has been working to find a solution to language issues for several years. The organization now has bilingual case managers, but for a time, Morales was the only staff member fluent in Spanish.

But that still left those speaking Central Florida’s other dominant languages, including Portuguese, Creole and Vietnamese, with barriers to receiving needed services.

“Learning about this need was heartbreaking and I knew this was an opportunity to not only help this organization, but our community as a whole,” said Indy Vega, founder and CEO, CCI Group.

“I know first-hand the barriers of language and culture and I want to make sure people who need critical services do not have to worry about understanding English.”

CCI Group specializes in providing governments, courts and businesses with a wide range of linguistic services. The company contracts with interpreters and translators throughout the world to ensure that specific and unique dialects can be provided quickly and accurately.

Under this new partnership, CCI Group will be offering over-the-phone interpreting, translation of documents, in-person interpretation, remote simultaneous translations and sign language interpretation for all of The Center’s services, including mental health counselling, immigration services, career planning, HIV testing and more.

“We are leading the way in our community towards true language justice. Speaking to people in your native language humanizes everyone. We want to do everything we can to make people feel comfortable,” Morales said.

The Center opened its first satellite office in Kissimmee in 2018.

The 40-year organization provides, among other things, free HIV and Hepatitis C testing seven days a week. The Center serves everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, said executive director George Wallace.

Zebra Coaltion, another nonprofit Orlando-based LGBT organization, this year started offering counseling services in Kissimmee. Equality Florida, an advocacy group and educational charity, also has provided training for guidance counselors and social workers from the Osceola County School District to help better understand issues faced by LGBTQ+ students.