Since 1985, the Bilingual Access Line has recognized the community's need for
qualified interpreters and translators to assist in the delivery of health care
and social services. The Bilingual Access Line is guided by the philosophical
belief that it is the responsibility of each agency serving the public to make
its services accessible to the entire population. Our program provides, on a
fee for service basis, qualified interpreters and translators in approximately
20 primary languages, either on site or over the phone, twenty-four hours a day,
and also provides referrals to 90 secondary languages.
A vital service in multi-cultural Hawaii, the Bilingual Access Line serves over
250,000 residents speaking a language other than English; 8,000 newly arrived
immigrants each year; and over 3 million foreign visitors annually. Interpreters
are often called upon to assist people in some of the most dramatic moments in
their lives. BAL makes every effort to ensure that our interpreters are prepared
to help families bridge language and cultural gaps with their knowledge and humanity.
By helping people to overcome language barriers, the Bilingual Access Line helps
strengthen and redefine communities. Communities no longer need to be limited
to groups that share a similar language and culture but by the willingness to
work towards a larger goal.
In addition to call-in requests for assistance, the Bilingual Access
Line currently provides interpretation services to hospitals, hotels,
corporations, as well
as government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. As we move towards
creating a global village through developments in information technology and
international business, BAL allows organizations to reach-out to non-English
speaking populations and gain feedback from communities that view government
and businesses with a different perspective.
The on-staff "primary language" interpreters for the Bilingual Access
Line follow a professional code of ethics that places fundamental importance
on maintaining accuracy, confidentiality, and neutrality.
As with all Helping Hands Hawai'i programs, the Bilingual Access Line actively
promotes volunteerism. For more information on our services, please call 526-9724.
primary languages covered are: