April 15, 2021
Windsor ON: ENWIN Utilities Ltd. and the John McGivney Children’s Centre (JMCC) are proud of a new partnership that supports Windsor families from many cultural and linguistic backgrounds, whose children receive services at the Centre – Families like the AlHariri family, whose three daughters receive Speech and Language services, due to hearing loss identified through the Infant Hearing Program.
Two of the AlHariri girls have received cochlear implants and two continue to receive services as their communication skills grow. Since English is not the family’s language of origin, an interpreter joins the family and their Speech Language Pathologist for therapy to ensure everyone is able to fully understand, participate and reap the benefits of the sessions. This year, ENWIN will be supporting that effort – for the AlHariri family and others like them.
“Windsor-Essex is a very diverse community, made up of individuals who speak a wide variety of languages,” explains ENWIN Manager of Corporate Communications Barbara Peirce Marshall, who manages the company’s Community Support portfolio. “Translation services are essential to JMCC’s work, and we are honoured to be able to enrich the lives of children and youth with special needs and help them to reach their full potential.”
Local diversity is reflected in the families who receive services at JMCC. As a Centre committed to being family-centred, it is crucial for family members and caregivers of JMCC clients to be able to understand and actively participate in their child’s therapy services.
“I have had the privilege of working with interpreters in my sessions for several years now,” says Agapi Varacalli, Speech & Language Pathologist, JMCC. “The therapy that I provide for kids with hearing loss is based on principles that focus on guiding and coaching parents. I guide and coach parents to use the strategies that have been proven to be effective during all of their child’s waking hours, in order to maximize the use of the hearing technology and see the most gains in their child’s communication skills.”
For families who do not speak English, therapy can be an enormous challenge. The interpreters Varacalli has worked with have been instrumental in ensuring that families understand the information and strategies that they discuss. They also allows her to gain a better understanding of what the child is doing at home, in their first language.
“I honestly could not do my job without them,” said Varacalli. “I am so grateful that our partnership with ENWIN helps to support access to interpreters for our therapy sessions.”
The AlHariri family is just one of the many families who rely on translation services during their JMCC therapy sessions. Throughout the past year, the need for translation services at JMCC has doubled and the Centre has also seen a significant rise in the costs associated with providing this essential service to families.
“At JMCC we are dedicated to providing family-centred services and to helping grow the abilities of every child,” says Jessica Sartori, CEO, JMCC. “Thanks to the support from ENWIN, we will be able to continue to provide translation services to families who need it, to ensure that the whole family is able to fully understand and participate in therapy, which is crucial to ensuring that each and every child and family we serve is reaching their full potential.”
“We are extremely grateful to ENWIN for their continued support of our Centre and the work that we do. We couldn’t do what we do without the support of donors and partners like ENWIN.”
“The services JMCC offers children with special needs are unparalleled in our community,” said Peirce Marshall. “It is truly a privilege to support this work.”
About ENWIN Utilities Ltd.: ENWIN is a licensed electricity distribution company, serving customers in the City of Windsor. ENWIN is also the water system operator for the water system owned by Windsor Utilities Commission. ENWIN works with Windsor to provide a safe, reliable source of electricity and water for our community.
ENWIN and its employees recognize that making a contribution to the community is an important part of corporate social responsibility. ENWIN’s Community Support program is led by a volunteer committee of employees across the company, dedicated to supporting organizations within the utility’s service territory that promote quality of life for the community.
ENWIN is also dedicated to developing cultural awareness and inclusion, both within the company through its Diversity and Inclusion Focus and within the community through partnerships with organizations that support diverse populations.
About the John McGivney Children’s Centre: The John McGivney Children’s Centre (JMCC) provides rehabilitation and support services to children and youth living in Windsor and Essex County. As the only publicly funded source of specialized paediatric rehabilitation expertise in the region, we support more than 3,000 children and youth annually with physical, neurological and developmental needs. In addition to providing the core rehabilitation services of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech/language therapy, JMCC offers social work, therapeutic recreation and resource navigation services to families and offers a wide range of specialty clinics on-site. Depending on the need, services are offered in our Centre, in schools and in our community. Since March 2020, in order to protect the health and safety of our clients and their families, our staff and our community in the wake of COVID-19, JMCC is proud to offer our families the option of virtual therapy services. Families are now able to choose whether they would prefer in person or virtual therapy services, or as is often the case, a combination of the two.
JMCC uses translation services provided by the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County (MCC), Language Line and MV United and this year the Centre has been able to provide translation services to families in over 17 languages during over 700 visits. With the introduction of virtual services, as well as limiting the number of parents/caregivers able to accompany a child to the Centre, in the interest of health and safety during the pandemic, there are now fewer opportunities for friends and/or extended family members who may speak English to be present during appointments. Therefore, the increase in the need for translation services exists during both virtual and in person service delivery.