May 18, 2020 – 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. CST
State courts have an obligation to provide equal access to justice for all people. This requires recognizing the added barriers faced by individuals in different communities and developing policies and programs to help close that gap. The National Center for Access to Justice has ranked the New Mexico Judiciary among the top states in the nation for its language access initiatives. This webinar will describe their multi-faceted approach for assisting survivors of Intimate Partner Violence who have limited English proficiency, are deaf or hard of hearing, have communication disabilities, or have low literacy levels. They will focus on how they are adapting to address these critical needs during the public health emergency and beyond.
This interactive webinar will highlight some of the following promising practices:
• In-court and out-of-court remote interpreting;
• A multilingual interactive digital avatar and courthouse kiosks which integrate artificial intelligence, voice command, speech recognition and other technologies, to significantly improve access to court services for underserved communities in New Mexico;
• Development of policies and procedures to allow for the acceptance and rapid translation of pleadings in languages other than English, including petitions for orders of protection, as well as translations of orders of protection and custody determinations; and
• Improved services at first point of contact, such as training and certification of bilingual judiciary employees and the use of live chat machines, to assist LEP individuals and those with disabilities.
In this webinar the participant will:
• Facilitate greater access to justice by fostering more culturally and linguistically responsive practices in the courts
• Highlight promising practices and procedures to improve court access for individuals who have limited English proficiency, are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, or have low literacy levels
• Identify ways to adapt and improve existing programs and services to operate under the constraints of the pandemic and improve access for individuals who face additional barriers
Judge Sylvia LaMar, District Court Judge, New Mexico First Judicial District, Division IV, Family Court
Hon. Sylvia LaMar, is a judge in the First Judicial District of New Mexico. She was appointed to the court by Governor Susana Martinez in November 2012 following the retirement of Judge Michael Eugene Vigil. She was elected in 2014 for a term that expires on December 31, 2020. Prior to joining the court, LaMar was an attorney in private practice; she specialized in personal injury and family law.
Paula Couselo-Findikoglu, Senior Statewide Program Manager of Language Access Services, New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts
Ms. Couselo-Findikoglu was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she completed her Doctorate coursework in English at the Universidad del Salvador after earning a B.A. in Translation from the same university. She is a nationally recognized speaker in the language access field and she has spearheaded numerous initiatives that combine technologies to improve access to justice. She received a UNM-STC Innovative Award from the University of New Mexico (UNM) in 2012 for the Language Access Specialist Certificate Program. As part of this ongoing program, she has co-authored several software applications for training purposes. She is also a Certified ADA Coordinator.