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315.749.7080 (24/7)


April 10, 2017

Compass Interpreters, a division of MVRCR, announces
On-Demand Video Interpretation Services 

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Compass Interpreters has partnered with Lexikeet Learning to provide our customers a new service; On-Demand Video Interpretation! This new on-demand language service (video interpretation) will instantly connect you to an interpreter with just the click of a button. This service is available on any Windows, Mac or Linux-based computer or tablet!

With this new service, immediate access to our experienced interpretation staff is our first promise, and a friendly, helpful face is the next.

  • On-demand video interpretation combines benefits for both you and the consumers of your services.
  • Similar to over the phone interpretation, this service can be more cost effective than in person interpreting.
  • Additionally, the visual contact between a patient, parent, client or employee and his or her interpreter that establishes trust in an in-person interpreting session is also achieved via On-demand video interpreting. This visual contact produces more effective communication ensuring a clearer, more complete discussion, that gives you a better understanding of a client’s concerns, a more complete service history, and a safer, more precise interaction.

There are so many great advantages to on-demand video interpretation!

  • No more waiting – Connect within moments to a trained professional interpreter.
  • Get rid of the additional cost of travel and mileage expenses.
  • No unexpected scheduling conflicts.
  • SAVE MONEY for your interpretation budget! With video interpretation only pay for the time you use!
  • Use a service that gives back to our non-profit networks. Many of our interpreters are from the immigrant and refugee communities.
  • Trained professional medical interpreters on staff, who maintain HIPAA compliance!
  • 24/7 availability. No more calling after hours answering services.

To learn more about on-demand video interpreting services, rates, languages offered or to setup a demo Click here to complete our contact form, email @, or call Tracy Davis or Ashley Bustos at (315) 738-1083 ext 113.

We look forward to working with your organization on this exciting new take on interpretation services!


IMG_8536“Bridging the Gap” with Jackie

Jacqueline Batista (Jackie) is one of Compass’ new interpreters who just recently completed Bridging the Gap medical interpretation training. Jackie is blind. She grew up in Manhattan and from a young age had overcome great adversity. Her mother, diagnosed with cancer, died when Jackie was 16 years old. Jackie recalls this as the time when her dream to become a doctor began. She took care of her mother throughout her illness and served as her mother’s interpreter with the doctors. When she had to explain the severity and terminal nature of the cancer to her mother, she realized the importance of professional interpreters. Jackie spent crucial developmental years by her mother’s side. She shared, “if my mom had an interpreter I would have gone much farther in life, much faster.”

After her mother’s death, Jackie was placed in Special Education classes even though she felt she did not need them. “Sick of being treated like a vegetable,” Jackie decided move away from her childhood home and live with friends. She eventually made her way to Blind Inc. where she learned to live more independently. She then moved on to employment in retail and at a summer camp for the blind and visually impaired. There, she found she was needed interpreting for parents who spoke Spanish. This experience reminded Jackie of how important professional interpretation services can be in so many places.

Soon after, a friend referred Jackie to the Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI) in Utica, New York. She found mentors there and began training in business, but because of illness, she could not finish the training. It was at this time she was directed to the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees (MVRCR). Jackie came by MVRCR and applied for a job with the help of a volunteer. She was pleased with this because “not everyone knows how to work with a blind person.”

Within the week, Jackie she received a call from Compass. She took the call as “a sign from above” and looked at Compass as her “ticket to success.”

Since she began working at Compass a couple of months ago, Jackie has done everything  from answering phones to making appointments with clients. She raves about Compass’ interactions with her: “they learn from me and I learn from them.” As for Jackie’s Bridging the Gap training, she says she has been “wanting to do this course for a very long time.” She is finally on her way to becoming a professional interpreter. The training process itself has been an amazing experience for her. She was provided with a note-taker as well as an electronic textbook that she can access through her tablet, yet she did not feel she was being treated differently from the other trainees.

Jackie believes the Bridging the Gap training and Compass in general puts her in the right direction for achieving her goals. She is looking into vision correction so that she can become a doctor as her dream is to help refugees and others in need. She shared that she wants to use her gift of helping those in her community because “It’s not about money, it’s about helping people.” She loves working at Compass because it gives her economic independence, she meets many different people, and makes friends. Jackie’s final hope is that she “might get close to 100” on her Bridging the Gap exam!

We are happy to report that jackie did very well on her exam! We wish her the best of luck in all of her goals!


(null)“Bridging the Gap” Training and Exam

Compass Interpreters is a team dedicated to assisting with professional interpretation. Compass interpreters who plan to practice in the medical setting must complete a medical interpreter training course called Bridging the Gap (BTG). Bridging the Gap is a renowned pioneer in the field of medical interpreter training. For over 20 years, BTG has been preparing multilingual individuals to work as effective, competent, and professional medical interpreters. The motto of Bridging the Gap is “to serve as a bridge between communities and health care institutions to advance access to quality health care that is culturally and linguistically appropriate.”

The training itself covers essential topics, such as, interpreter roles and ethics, interpreting skills, medical terminology, body systems, the impact of culture, and an overview of the health care system. In the span of 40 hours, trainees learn: Basic interpreting skills, a code of ethics, medical vocabulary, how and when to act as a cultural broker or advocate, communication skills, critical thinking, professional development, and an overview of the U.S. Healthcare System.

Compass Interpreters has a trainer on staff who is licensed by the nationally recognized Cross Cultural Health Care Program (CCHCP) to provide BTG training. Interpreters taking part in Bridging the Gap must pass an exam at the end of the training to be qualified to interpret in medical settings. Interpreters completing the course receive a certificate from the Cross Cultural Healthcare Program.

New Compass Interpreters completed the most recent training on July 16th. At the end of the training, a group of 25 trainees took the exam. The individuals in this group of interpreters speak a variety of languages including: Karen, Burmese, Arabic, Russian, Belorussian, Ukrainian, Spanish, Turkish, Persian, Somali, Maay Maay, Swahili, and Kurdish. Among the class was a visually impaired interpreter who overcame great odds to complete the course and exam.

When asked about their favorite part of the training, one interpreter said, “Everything was good! I liked the medical parts more because I was a registered medical assistant.” However, this training is also suitable for those with no medical background. Another interpreter, Montaz, said, “it is important to know both the interpretation side and the medical side.” Many trainees said their favorite part was the people they met. Alesia said that she learned a lot of new things including current problems with medical interpretation but “the best part of the training” was the new friends that she made.

If you are proficient in English and can fluently speak another language, consider becoming a part of Compass’ team. For more information on Bridging the Gap, please call 315.749.7080 or email  The next training will be scheduled in the Fall.


Print  MVRCR Unveils New Website

The Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees has just launched a new website. In staying true to their mission of building community with many cultures, the new site is meant to be a resource for the entire community and newcomers to the area. Visitors to the site can find information about services for refugees and immigrants, as well as services the Refugee Center offers to the wider community such as interpretation, translation, cultural competency training, and immigration and citizenship assistance.

Under a new “Community” tab visitors to the site can find information about ethnic restaurants and shops in the area, many owned and operated by former refugees. Pages under this tab also highlight the economic impact of refugees, bring attention to community partners, and discuss initiatives by community members that celebrate Utica’s many cultures, such as Refugees Starting Over and the Redeemer Cup. The “Resources” page under this tab is meant to assist individuals who may be new to the area, or who may be assisting newcomers. The page provides contact information for essential services such as healthcare and the Department of Social Services.

The Cultural Competency page has a new “Resources” tab specifically targeting educators and health care providers. This tab has a number of links to additional resources about working with refugee youth and survivors of torture and trauma. The Success Stories highlight individuals who represent the important and positive impact of having a community with many cultures. In addition to representing their personal success they also represent the success of Utica and the Mohawk Valley as a place of welcome. Individuals are invited to support the work of the Refugee Center through attending events (listed on the new events calendar), sponsoring our work with a charitable donation, or volunteering. Visit the new site using the same address as before

The website design reflects the outcome of a discovery process the Refugee Center initiated in 2013 with funding from the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, Inc. The Refugee Center contracted with Trainor Associates during the discovery process and website development.


The Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees (MVRCR) assists refugees, immigrants, and those with limited English proficiency throughout the integration process and helps them achieve independence and self-sufficiency by developing products and services that enable us to build community with many cultures.

Since being founded in 1981 MVRCR has resettled more than 15,000 individuals to the city of Utica. These populations have included Vietnamese, Russian, Bosnian, Somali Bantu, Burmese, and Nepali. The experience of working with diverse individuals and meeting their needs for over 30 years has resulted in an institution that is people focused and uniquely positioned to provide products and services that allow us to collaborate with partners in building community with many cultures together.

A JZ Analytics Report released in April 2013 titled Six Continents, One Hometown: Public Opinion on Refugee Resettlement in Utica emphasized the importance of the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, “…the impact of this institution cannot be overestimated…Above all it is the source of the metaphorical sign that says ‘Welcome to Utica.”  The institution is dedicated to integrity, diversity, community, compassion, and knowledge.