August's featured guests will be the team from Speakeasy and the Asian Community Development Corporation.
Tuesday, August 19th
4:30 - 6:00 pm
1 Bennett Street
Harvard Square, Cambridge
Featured guest: Jeremy Liu, Speakeasy and Asian CDC
Speakeasy is a service that offers non-English speaking individuals convenient, free and easy access to a network of well-informed, multilingual “Guides” who would be able to provide on-demand, confidential language interpretation via the telephone. Aside from their interpretation services, Guides would also be able to effectively address callers’ concerns and needs as they are more familiar with the social service options available in this country. In practice, Speakeasy is not a new concept as many multilingual individuals are already serving as informal interpreters for their family members and friends, but often with uneven or inappropriate results. Instead of having to depend solely on this informal social network and to ease some of the unduly burdens placed upon family members and friends, Speakeasy would be able to take advantage of the ubiquity of cell phones and connect non-English speakers to Guides promptly.
Technically, Speakeasy consists of three components – a web service for Guides’ registration and scheduling, a telephone server for call routing and conferencing, and a database that stores Guides’ phone numbers, language capabilities and available times. Callers – any non-English speakers, including immigrants, refugees and other limited English proficiency individuals – would place a call to Speakeasy from any telephone and then be greeted by pre-recorded messages and prompts in English, Cantonese and Mandarin. After callers navigate the voice menu by pressing the appropriate buttons, Speakeasy then queues their calls through the database, and connects them to available Guides who would act as “linguistic liaisons” to city service agencies, community organizations and local businesses via their cell phones. In that sense, Speakeasy transcends geographic, spatial and temporal boundaries as it allows Guides to provide assistance wherever they may be and whenever they are available.
At the conclusion of our Ethos Roundtable session, we will stroll down the hall to enjoy the good company, food, and drink at the 501 Tech Club that is so generously underwritten by TechFoundation. The 501 Tech Club is the monthly gathering of technology professionals who work with nonprofit organizations.
All Ethos Roundtable attendees are welcome at the Boston 501 Tech Club, and vice versa.
Reservations are never mandatory to attend Ethos Roundtable events. However, if you're planning to attend the Boston 501 Tech Club event at 6:00 pm, we ask that you send an email to Kathleen Sherwin of TechFoundation (ksherwin AT techfoundation DOT org).