Aging in Spanish

We’re putting together what I think will be a strong presentation on the future of Todd County that we’re going to hold in Long Prairie on May 6. Nikki Tundel is producing video and Curtis Gilbert is working on audio scripts.

We’re expecting a thoughtful and helpful panel and audience discussion on aging and how that is related to the larger Todd County economy, immigration, technology and other issues in the future. Panelists are going to be Ben Winchester, a rural sociologist with the University of Minnesota; LaRhae Knatterud, a premier expert on aging with the state Department of Human Services; and John Halfen, medical director of the Lakewood Health System in Staples.

The question in front of us today is how to make this forum discussion accessible to Spanish-only speakers in Todd County. I’ve been talking to Tim King, Anne Villalobos and others about the best way to do it. At this point, we’ll plan to have written materials in Spanish that will help people follow the video and audio presentations.

What we’re wrestling over is how to provide interpretation of the panel discussion. United Nations-style simultaneous interpretation via wireless transmission to headsets is one possibility. But Villalobos suggested this morning that a drawback is that headset-wearing audience members stand out in a way that’s not always welcome.

Better, she and others have said, is to offer a soft-voice interpretation off to the side in the Long Prairie-Grey Eagle High School auditorium. That might have the drawback of potentially disrupting things for the rest of the audience. But perhaps it can work.

Any ideas out there?

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