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What is

the Language Interpreter Services Program?




The Language Interpreter Services (LIS) program of the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration provides funding for interpreter services to enable service providers to communicate with their clients who have limited English or French language skills, or are deaf, oral deaf, deafened or hard of hearing and who are victims of domestic violence and sexual violence, as well as those who have been exploited through human trafficking.


Language interpreter services are available in communities across Ontario 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in over 70 languages. Interpreter services are also available for Deaf persons who use: American Sign Language – English (ASL), Langue des signes Québécoise – French (LSQ) or Deaf Interpreters (DI), where a Deaf person does not use either ASL or LSQ. Services for the deaf and hard of hearing are provided by the Canadian Hearing Society.


Interpreters are trained to provide consecutive and simultaneous interpretation face-to-face and over the telephone.  Face-to-face interpretation is provided in one-on-one and group settings.


Language Interpreter Services are provided without cost to eligible service providers.

How do service providers request this service?



Service providers should contact an agency that delivers interpreter services under the LIS program in their area.


For information

on the geographic coverage, services

and eligibility criteria, access our section Geographic Scope of Agencies.

Who can request this service?



Under the LIS program, all service providers who work with victims of domestic violence and sexual violence or those exploited through human trafficking are eligible to access language interpreters on behalf of their clients.


Eligible service providers include social, health care, legal services including hospitals, shelters, Legal Aid Ontario, sexual assault centres and Domestic Violence Court Programs.


Who delivers the Language Interpreter Services?


The LIS program is delivered through eight regional non-profit agencies across the province:


Greater Toronto Area

Greater Toronto Area and Central



INCommunities, St. Catharines

Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre



Across Languages London

The Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County, Windsor



Northeast and Northwest

Thunder Bay Multicultural Association, Thunder Bay



Canadian Hearing Society


Each agency recruits and maintains a roster of qualified interpreters who complete a recognized training program and pass a language proficiency test.  Interpreters are also trained on sector-specific terminology. The work of interpreters is guided by rigorous program delivery standards and a Code of Ethics as set out by the National Standard Guide for Community Interpreting Services (NSGCIS). Interpreters are screened for their English language proficiency, motivation, attitude and commitment. Following this initial assessment, candidates become part of our agencies’ roster only if they successfully meet all the requirements outlined below.


Successful completion of the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration’s (MCI) approved Interpreter Language Skills Assessment Tool (ILSAT).  See more details about Language Proficiency Test.