WE LIP Success Story – June 2020


The We Speak project was born out of the work done by the WE LIP Health Equity for Newcomers and Immigrants (HENI) Committee, who, through engagement with newcomers and health service providers, identified the need to address language barriers within the healthcare system.

In January 2019, the Windsor Essex Local Immigration Partnership (WE LIP), in partnership with the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network (ESC LHIN), began working on the We Speak project with the goal of increasing regional health service provider (HSP) agencies’ knowledge and use of available services, technologies, tools, and approaches that effectively reduce language barriers. A small project team was brought together and was comprised of representatives from the University of Windsor Faculty of Nursing, The Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, Windsor Family Health Team, Windsor Essex Community Health Centre, ESC LHIN, and WE LIP.

The first phase of the project included University of Windsor nursing students conducting a literature review and creating a repository of available language service supports. Phase two focused on branding and communication. A logo, infographic and information package were developed to provide health service providers details about the opportunity to register with Access Alliance as part of a group bulk purchase, allowing them to access translation services at a discounted rate based on the group’s usage. In order to accomplish this, the 1-866-4-WE-SPEAK number was established. Health care providers can use the number to register their organization and then gain access to scheduled or on demand translation services (live, phone or video). Additionally, providers can utilize the wespeak@lhins.on.ca email to submit questions and connect with a We Speak representative. It is a simplified, one step process to centralized interpretation services.

Most recently, information about the project was shared as a best practice with other South Western Ontario Local Integration Partnerships. Additionally, video interpretation services via We Speak, were accessed during the Agri-Food Worker COVID Assessment Centre in Leamington. Watch the video HERE.

For more information about We Speak, please contact oh-west_wespeak@ontariohealth.ca.

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WE LIP Success Story – June 2020 – We Speak Project

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