Telephonic Interpretation Services

  • The Boston Public School (BPS) District has entered into an agreement with LionBridge to provide telephonic (over-the-phone) interpretation services to schools and central office departments. This on-demand telephone interpreting system provides access to over 350 languages to support communication of “Essential Information” to the parents/guardians of BPS students.  

    Please review the Telephonic Policy (linked below), which provides information on how to access the service along with usage parameters. In addition, please find additional resources to support the telephonic service offering.


    This service is not a substitute for in-person interpreters supporting IEP meetings - unless prior written parent/guardian consent is received.

  • When to Use Telephonic Interpretation - Usage Requirements

    • Telephonic Interpretation Services are particularly appropriate when a matter is routine and expected to last no more than 30 minutes.
    • When in-person interpretation is not available specifically for required Special Education meetings (i.e. IEP and evaluation) after attempts have been made to secure in-person interpretation through the district’s request system. Telephonic usage for Special Education related matters is only allowed when prior written parent consent is received.
    • When no trained, professional interpreter is available in person.
    • When written translation of information is inadequate or unavailable.
    • Undue delay will be avoided by using a remote interpreter rather than an on-site interpreter.
    • Instances where information using simple language communication tools (i.e. maps, visuals) will not adequately convey the message.
    • Appointments that don’t require substantial oral translation of documentation (i.e. the interpreter reading a document while interpreting it aloud).
    • When geographical location hampers access or when in-person interpretation is not available for a specific language - this could be due to timing, low incidence language request, or in-person interpreter cancellation.
  • How to Access the Telephone Interpretation Option

    In-School Administrators must authorize all use of Telephonic Interpretation Services

    • Step #1: Have LEP parent/guardian on the phone/present prior to placing the call.
    • Step #2: Call our toll-free phone number: 1-800-444-6627
    • Step #3: Enter Your school’s PIN number
    • Step #4: Select 1 for Special Education or 2 for General Education
    • Step #5: Choose your language
      • Press 1 for Spanish
      • Press 2 for Haitian Creole
      • Press 3 for French
      • Press 4 for Cantonese
      • Press 5 for Portuguese
      • Press 6 for Vietnamese
      • Press 7 for Somali
      • Press 8 for Arabic
      • Press 9 for Mandarin
      • Press 0 For any other language needs or concerns. If no interpreter is available, the operator will inform you to call back later.