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We provide & promote resources to improve the quality of translating & interpretation. Read about our mission »

Our History

The formation of the Upper Midwest Translators and Interpreters Association (UMTIA) began in 2002 when Deb Kramasz brought together many area translators to create a local venue for offering the ATA translators certification exam, to organize local educational opportunities for translators and interpreters, and to promote professional discussions and networking.

The group formalized the organization as a chapter of the ATA in 2004 serving the geographic region of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota.The first board of directors consisted of Deb Kramasz, Larry Bogoslow, Nadia Smith, Giselle Niles, and Gail Tanaka.

At the 2003 UMTIA conference, 30 area interpreting stakeholders met and formed an ad hoc committee of UMTIA, the Interpreting Stakeholder Group (ISG) which met as an outreach committee until 2010 when it spun off as its own organization.

In 2008 UMTIA formalized its committee structure. UMTIA’s energy comes from its committees who plan talks and trainings, and identify needs in the field, such as the development of glossaries in languages of lesser diffusion, or Best Practice Guidelines for Hiring Interpreters in Rural Settings.

UMTIA also provides expertise to legislators and industry leaders working on language access policy across the country. UMTIA has been contacted to provide expertise and information on lessons learned to the New York mayor’s office when it adopted its language access policy, and by the Washington State Coalition for Language Access.

View the Complete UMTIA Timeline

April 1998 – Activity begins to plan and recruit an Organizing Committee.

November 17, 2000 – Group charged with establishing a local chapter of the American Translators Association (ATA) begins meeting monthly.

2001 – First workshop held, ATA approves affiliate status for UMTIA, open house, first members join, first newsletter is published, ATA certification exam administered.

March 15, 2002 – UMTIA incorporates with the State of Minnesota as a nonprofit organization, ATA certification exam administered. 1st annual conference held this year.

2003 – Programmatic operations are underway:  professional development activities, 2 ATA and a NAJIT certification exams administered, 2nd annual conference, formation of ad hoc committee “The Interpreting Stakeholders Group (ISG)”.

2004 – Web Site is launched, 3rd Annual conference, recognized as an official ATA Chapter, and ATA certification exam administered.

2005 – 4th annual conference. ATA certification exam administered.

2006 – 5th Annual Conference. ATA certification exam administered.

2007 – Largest conference to date, 2 days, almost 300 attendees, held together with Hennepin County Medical Center: “Caring for the Limited English Proficient (LEP) Patient: A Dialogue Between Interpreters, Health Care-Providers and the Law.” ATA certification exam administered.

2008 – Major reorganization of association carried out and committee structure formalized, ATA certification exam administered.

2009 – Largest individually undertaken conference to date, 2 days, over 180 attendees: “Interpreting and Translation: The Professions from All Angles.” 2 ATA certification exams administered.

2010 – Large single day conference, over 180 attendees, “Interpreting and Translation:   Connecting People around the Globe.”

2012 – Full day annual membership meeting and free symposium on medical interpreter certification, over 150 attendees

2014  – UMTIA launches its latest website, with new and improved features to help us achieve mission.

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