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Hawaii state judiciary program director to provide training on language access

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(Press Release) — Debi S. Tulang-De Silva, J.D., program director of the Hawaii State Judiciary’s Office on Equality and Access to the Courts, will be providing technical guidance on language access from January 12 to 18.

Debi S. Tulang-De Silva

Director Tulang-De Silva is scheduled to host trainings for the CNMI judiciary, CNMI Bar Association, CNMI-based interpreters, and other government agencies. The training will cover topics, including but not limited to, language access laws and impact of mandates, integration of language access for services, and working effectively with interpreters.

The CNMI judiciary looks forward to Director Tulang-De Silva’s assistance in enhancing its Language Access Plan and Policy or LAPP which became effective in 2015. LAPP is consistent with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin. It is the policy of the judiciary to provide timely, meaningful, and equal access to programs, services, and information to limited English proficient and deaf and hard of hearing persons. Covering standards for qualified interpreters and translators, trained court staff and judges, and multi-lingual signage and documents, LAPP was made possible through the efforts of the CNMI judiciary, the CNMI Bar Association, the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the Public Defender, and other entities.

Director Tulang-De Silva has been program director at the Hawaii State Judiciary since 2005. She received her law degree from California Western School of Law in San Diego, California, and her bachelor’s degree in secondary education in psychology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Director Tulang-De Silva established the Hawaii State Judiciary’s first court interpreter certification program. Since 2008, she has conducted numerous trainings on language access and interpreter certification. She plays an active role in providing trainings on language access throughout the Western Pacific region and also serves as the Hawaii State Judiciary’s language access coordinator, ADA coordinator, and primary staff for the Hawaii State Judiciary’s Supreme Court Committee on Court Interpreters and Language Access and Supreme Court Committee on Equality and Access to the Courts.

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