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UW-Stevens Point to host free lecture on language access

June 9, 2023
Ana Soler, a national expert on language access, will be the keynote speaker at a free presentation at UW-Stevens Point June 22.
Ana Soler, a national expert on language access, will be the keynote speaker at a free presentation at UW-Stevens Point June 22.

A national expert on language access and communication with multilingual individuals will speak at “The Importance of Interpreters/Translators for the Advancement of Equity,” a free, public presentation at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point this month.

The event will be held from 3-5:30 p.m., Thursday, June 22, in the Dreyfus University Center Laird Room, 1015 Reserve St., Stevens Point. The presentation is hosted by the UW-Stevens Point School of Education and funded by the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership.

The event will feature keynote speaker Ana Soler, Ph.D., who will address significant disparities faced by marginalized populations in Wisconsin, such as in health, workplace opportunities, consumer experiences and educational outcomes. Soler is chair of the National Association of Educational Translators and Interpreters of Spoken Languages and the founder and CEO of SeSo Inc., which provides training and resources for school districts with multilingual families.

Attendees will learn about best practices when collaborating with interpreters, sustainable options for ensuring equity in a range of community settings and prominent Wisconsin leaders that have implemented equity-improvement strategies. Participants will have the opportunity to network and reflect on ways to better communicate as they relate to the lives of multilingual individuals in connection with their organization.

The event will also spotlight two Wisconsin-based organizations who are working to promote access and equity for multilingual speakers – Access to Adventure and Marshfield Clinic Health System.

Access to Adventure’s mission is to create inclusive environments where individuals from diverse backgrounds can safely connect with nature and drive positive change for equitable engagement with the outdoors. The organization is composed of two youth leaders and an English Learner teacher from Sevastopol School District and the executive project director from Kinect M1, a community-building organization in Green Bay.

Marshfield Clinic Health System’s Language Services Department, managed by Chantel Feit, is committed to inclusivity by offering in-person language interpreters and translators. As a result, patients are supported in understanding their medical conditions, treatment options and healthcare instructions.

“This speaker event stems from collaboration with multilingual community members,” said Stacy Gray, associate lecturer in the School of Education. “The role of interpreters and translators in bridging communication differences is invaluable. The United States Census Bureau (2020) reported that more than 475,226 Wisconsin citizens speak a language other than English. This event offers an opportunity to bring together experts, organizations and community members especially for equitable educational access for all children and families in Wisconsin.”

Pre-register for the in-person or virtual option at

In its effort to embody the Wisconsin Idea, the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership funds speaker events that will advance public leadership and help leaders to address pressing policy challenges in venues on UW campuses and in communities outside UW-Madison.