WE LIP Success Story | May 2023

Each year, the Mennonite Central Committee hosts the Low German Networking Conference (LGNC). This year’s LGNC was focused on the theme of “Cultural Humility: Mitigating Power Imbalances”. It was held in Aylmer at the Summers’ Corners Public School on May 19, 2023.

WE LIP members Sarah May Garcia, Manager of Health Equity and Priority Populations at Ontario Health/Santé Ontario, and Grace Eagan, Director of Language Services & Digital Strategy at Access Alliance Multicultural Heath and Community Services, presented We Speak.

We Speak is a language access initiative of Ontario Health West, co-designed by community partners to help patients and Health Service Providers overcome language barriers through access to immediate, easy to use, and affordable professional interpretation services. These interpretation services are available to We Speak users in-person, by phone, or on-demand video.

Sarah May and Grace spoke on how using We Speak improves health equity through language supports and ensures that all individuals have equitable access to high-quality health care and health information, regardless of the language they speak or sign.

They also discussed the recent graduation of additional Plautdietsch speaking interpreters who will be available for on-demand or in-person interpretation through the We Speak Language Access Initiative. Responding to the unique needs of Essex County, local Health Service Providers and the RIO Network worked together to identify languages of need, including Plautdietsch (commonly known as Low German) as well as over 175 languages.

Through the We Speak Initiative, there are no monthly fees. Registrants only pay for the services used. To sign up for We Speak now, please fill out the following form:


Or call: 1-866-4-WE-SPEAK (1-866-493-7732).

Any additional questions can be directed to: oh-west_wespeak@ontariohealth.ca.

If you have an account and would like to access services: www.riocall.ca/wespeak


Download a PDF copy of this Success Story here: