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Illinois Courts Response to COVID-19

Find a Language Interpreter/Language Access Program | State of Illinois Office of the Illinois Courts

Ensuring equal access to the courts for individuals with language limitations is an important issue, especially in Illinois, which has a significant and growing number of people with Limited English Proficiency all across the state. As such, there is great need to promulgate statewide standards to promote language access for Limited English Proficient individuals, provide guidance to the judiciary and interpreters as to the role of interpreters, and require interpreters to have minimum levels of proficiency and skills.

To reach these goals, the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts' (AOIC) Access to Justice Division has taken on a number of initiatives to assist the trial courts and ensure that Limited English Proficient individuals have equal access to Illinois courts. To learn more, please see the content below.

AOIC Language Access Registry

The AOIC maintains a Court Interpreter Registry (Registry) that lists certified and registered spoken language interpreters and sign language interpreters that have met certain training and testing requirements.

Language Access Plans

The AOIC is overseeing the creation and implementation of Language Access Plans in each of the 24 judicial circuits of the state, based on a Plan template that was approved by the Illinois Supreme Court. Once a circuit court submits a Plan, it will be publicly available  here.

Illinois Supreme Court Language Access Policy and Code of Interpreter Ethics

The Illinois Supreme Court adopted a Language Access Policy and Code of Interpreter Ethics to provide guidance to the judiciary and develop a unified approach for the provision of statewide language access services in Illinois courts.  More...

Total Interpretations: 44,917 Criminal Court: 36,033
% of interpretations by registered or certified interpreter: 52.86% Civil Court: 6,492
% of interpretations by phone or video: 60.4% Annexed Court: 2,392
80% of all interpretations were criminal and 15% civil proceedings. Spanish was the most common language need at 92%. Polish was the second most requested language at 2%. Smaller languages in Cook County, such as Mandarin, Arabic, French, Vietnamese, Ukrainian and Russian were also prevalent. American Sign Language was also noted in the interpretation statistics as well.

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Contact Details

For additional help with these topic, please contact us below.

Noor Alawawda
Program Coordinator, Language Access
 (312) 793-6181
 (312) 793-0740

Alison D. Spanner
Assistant Director
 (312) 793-3859
 (312) 793-0740