top of page

Open Position -

Language Access Specialist & Spanish Interpreter/Translator 

Position Summary:

This position is a full-time Language Access Specialist & Spanish Interpreter/Translator position that collaborates with the Early Support and Early Learning Programs at WCEL to support children 0 to 3 that have disabilities and/or developmental delays and their families. It requires your own insured vehicle, driver’s license, and in-person participation in home visits and playgroups and travel throughout Whatcom County. 

Pay Range: $26.81 - $40.21

Duties and Responsibilities: 

1. Language Access Management 

  • Oversee all aspects of a health care agency’s language access requirements  

  • Liaise with language access contractors to ensure the interpretation and translation needs of the agency for all languages are met  

    • coordinate and schedule interpreter assignments - track, evaluate, and ensure the coordination of assignments;  

    • maintain proper documentation for all interpreters;  

    • track statistical data regarding usage of interpreters and make recommendations regarding the staffing needs 

  • Oversee a grant-funded external training program for medical interpreters  

  • Create system-level improvements in partnership with WCEL’s leadership team 

  • Select and evaluate contract interpreter and translator services in partnership with leadership and the Early Learning Program Director 

  • Develop, recommend, and implement language access goals, objectives, policies, procedures and standards 

  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the interpreter services 

  • Support technical details and instruction of the job to interpreters  

  • Respond constructively to inquiries and/or complaints regarding interpreter services 

  • Monitor current and proposed federal, state, and local legislation regarding interpretive service requirements 

  • Serve as a liaison with partners around language access - discuss problems; develop alternative strategies; and seek and provide leads with respect to interpreters of rare languages 

  • Identify and implement information technology strategies to expedite the deployment and delivery of interpreter services 

  • Enters data regarding interpreter's assignments; prepares operational reports  

  • Performs other related duties as assigned 

2. Interpreter/Translator 

  • Serve as a medical interpreter (Spanish/English) for WCEL staff and the families  

  • Relay early support/medical/community information between speakers of two different languages in compliance with all policies and procedures, particularly relating to confidentiality and informed consent, passing performance of competencies listed in the IMIA Standards of Practice, and the Code of Ethics 

  • Serve as a linguistic resource to both families and providers to contribute to successful outcomes 

  • Provide English/Spanish translation services to support WCEL’s programs- including filling out forms and medical/educational instructions or schedules; administrative translations such as brochures, calendars, letters to caregivers, documents, and families/caregivers materials 

  • Address concerns raised during or after an encounter by encouraging provider to make appropriate referral and/or assisting with making of appointment with right resource and scheduling interpreter as needed 

  • Explain role of the interpreter to family and provider or Family Resource Coordinator 

  • Recognize the complexity of the early support encounter and added factor of linguistic barrier 

  • Set tone of the caregiver/provider encounter to manage spatial configuration and flow of communication 

  • Understand and abide by WCEL's policies on confidentiality, informed consent, non-discrimination and by interpreters' code of ethics and standards of practice 

  • Work on special projects as assigned 


Project management skills:

  • Experience with project planning and donor reporting preferred 

  • High level of knowledge of Washington State language access laws 

Strong linguistic skills:

  • Understand variety of regional accents and linguistic styles and registers  

  • Select appropriate mode of interpretation for each situation 

  • Interpret with highest degree of accuracy and completeness in consecutive, simultaneous and sight translation modes 

  • Self-correct, understand own linguistic limitations, seek clarification, and accept correction 

  • Pick up cues from encounter participants regarding level of understanding and/or need for clarification 

  • Strong writing skills and understanding of translation process  

Strong interpreting skills:

  • Communication to preserve accuracy and completeness, and to assess and address potential areas of discomfort for parent (age, gender of interpreter, no previous experience with interpreters)

  • Encourages and fosters direct communication between practitioner/coordinator and caregiver/parent

  • Maintains professional distance and integrity

  • Diffuses conflict between parties by remaining calm and impartial

  • Clarifies instructions, follow up steps in a diplomatic, effective manner

Strong cultural awareness competencies: 

  • Understand language as an expression of culture, recognize the underlying assumptions of each party, the encounter, the diagnosis etc.; use this understanding to empower patients and providers to better understand each other 

  • Only intervene as intercultural mediator when communication is compromised by culture-bound messages 

  • Avoid generalizations and stereotyping 

  • Use culturally appropriate behavior and choose appropriate time to clarify or interject by respecting the goals of the encounter 

  • Is aware of own personal values, beliefs, and cultural characteristics which may be a source of conflict or discomfort in certain situations, is able to acknowledge these and/or to withdraw from encounters when these may interfere with successful interpretation 

  • Understand and uphold the organizational values of accessibility, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging 

Ethical competency: 

  • Understand and abide by HIPAA and WCEL's policies on confidentiality, informed consent, non-discrimination and by interpreter’s code of ethics and standards of practice (NCIHC, CHIA, IMIA)

Interpersonal and customer service skills: 

Project positive attitude about WCEL, and offers services to ensure positive experience 

Works as a team with colleagues and practitioners  

Understand the importance of and has excellent customer service skills, to include business telephone etiquette 

Education and knowledge:

  • Fluency in English and Spanish (Mixtec preferred as well), both oral and written, with a minimum of Advanced Mid proficiency level according to ACTFL - 

  • Ability to accurately work in consecutive mode and sight translate into and from working language(s) 

  • 4-6 years of experience in a healthcare setting as a medical interpreter with strong medical vocabulary (including vocabulary of medical specialties) 

  • Associate Degree or a combination of education and experience 

  • Proof of medical interpreter training - minimum of 40 hours (college level interpreting training preferred) 

  • NBCMI, CHI, or DSHS certified or recognized medical interpreter certification credential 

  • High level of customer service and a positive approach 

  • Familiarity and ability to work with diversity of cultural/socioeconomic backgrounds 

  • General knowledge of cultural backgrounds of families that receive services in our programs 

  • Good interpersonal, organizational, and time-management skills  

  • Knowledge of computer systems and software such as Microsoft Office Suite 


Working conditions:

  • This position requires entry to families/caregiver's homes and travel. The subject matter related to these sessions requires maturity, composure, & sound judgment. These same principles apply to virtual visits

  • Accurate, complete interpretation as per Health Care Interpreter Standards of Practice

  • Consecutive interpretation is used during home visits. Very rarely, simultaneous interpreter might be requested. Refrain from side conversations with the child, caregivers, or staff

  • As per Health Care Interpreter Code of Ethics, remember the following:

  • Do not share personal opinions related to the session or the child

  • Uphold the principle of transparency by informing the provider and/or family/caregiver whenever clarification or repetition is necessary and obtained from either party

  • Maintain confidentiality: The information discussed during an interpreting session (pre-session, visit, debrief) cannot be discussed outside the appointment

Other requirements: 

  • Vehicle in working condition, driver’s license, and auto liability insurance 

  • Consent to background check and fingerprinting 

  • Vaccination is required (COVID) 


  • 401(k) 

  • 401(k) matching 

  • Dental insurance 

  • Employee assistance program 

  • Flexible schedule 

  • Health insurance 

  • Health savings account 

  • Paid time off 

  • Vision insurance 

Please send resume and cover letter to

Please send your resume and cover letter describing your interest in our mission and how your work or life experience had prepared you for this role.

bottom of page