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REPORT: Limited-English Voters Could Have Massive Impact on Congress in Today’s Election

Posted by Greg Holt on November 6, 2018

Language accommodation for voting – or a lack thereof – could swing 20 congressional elections this November, according to a new report published Monday in The Nation.

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CASE STUDY: How Video Interpreting Is Being Used to Improve Community Policing

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on October 26, 2018

This is community policing on steroids.”

These were the words of Nassau County (NY) Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder on Wednesday when he announced the implementation of the LanguageLine InSight Video Interpreting application in patrol vehicles.

The interpretation service was already available in police precincts, headquarters, and other buildings. The addition of the interpreting application to officers’ cell phones allows them to communicate on-demand with residents using a video interpreter in 36 languages (including American Sign Language), as well as 240 languages in audio-only.

“It’s one way that we’re proving that every single person in Nassau County – in our growingly diverse county – will be respected and be protected,” County Executive Laura Curran said.

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CASE STUDY: How Video Interpreting Is Encouraging Limited-English Speakers To Turn Out On Election Day

Posted by Frank Masin on October 14, 2018

The elections office in Potter County, Texas, knew they had a problem after the 2016 Presidential election.

“We know that we have voters who are citizens (who are) eligible to vote and registered to vote, but if they don’t understand the language they may not actually come to vote,” Potter County Elections Administrator Melynn Huntley said in this recent video from KFDA News Channel 10 in Amarillo. “(After 2016) we realized we had a gap, particularly with American Sign Language and Somali.”

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Language Assistance Must be a Priority During Emergency Response

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on September 10, 2018

Language access should be a key component of every disaster plan, as roughly one in eight United States residents is limited-English proficient (LEP). Unfortunately, caring for the needs of LEP populations in the face of an emergency is not always the priority it should be. If LEP individuals are not able to access disaster information in a language they can understand, the consequences can be deadly.

A disaster plan typically incorporates three phases: preparedness, response, and recovery.

Emergency response is foremost on our minds as Hurricane Florence steers toward land. Today we will focus on effectively managing the communication of information about sheltering, evacuation, transportation, and health care before and during an emergency to LEP individuals.

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CASE STUDY: City of Houston Deploys Video in Evacuation Exercise

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on June 20, 2018

Most of Houston is located on the gulf coastal plain. A year ago, Hurricane Harvey inundated America’s fourth-largest city with over 50 inches of rain and impacted more than 300,000 housing units. More homes flooded in Houston during Hurricane Harvey than in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. It was the third year in a row that Houston experienced severe flooding.

Accordingly, Houston placed fifth on a recent list of the 10 riskiest American cities for natural disasters. Two other Texas cities, Austin (second) and Dallas (fourth), also made the list.

The City of Houston has been proactive in preparing for natural disasters. Its Public Health Emergency Preparedness Team recently participated in the annual City of Houston Evacuation Hub Exercise. The Houston Health Department recently posted this video depicting the exercise.

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Does Your Interpreter Training Program Have These Essentials?

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on February 23, 2018

Whether you have bilingual employees or use interpreters in your contact center, they are an extension of your organization—for better or for worse.

How confident are you that they are communicating clearly to your customers?

There are only two ways to know for sure: Be fluent in multiple languages yourself, or ensure your in-house interpreters have been tested and properly trained.

Whether you have an interpreter training program in place now or are looking to implement one, be sure it includes these five essential elements.

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Could Your Organization Benefit from Video Remote Interpreting? Ask Yourself These Questions.

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on August 2, 2017

One in five of our neighbors here in the United States speak a language other than English at home. That’s more than 61 million people – 25 million of whom say they speak English less than well. Another 28 million Americans are deaf or hard of hearing.

The influence of these diverse audiences is enormous and growing. They are citizens, patients, and consumers. Meeting them in their preferred language builds loyalty, achieves compliance, and increases staff productivity while reducing expenses. The opportunities are clear, but the challenge is that – with hundreds of languages spoken in America today – it is very difficult for any organization to meet this demand.

Video remote interpreting (VRI) is an on-demand platform that provides communication to limited English proficient, deaf, or hard-of-hearing individuals by connecting to a professional interpreter in an offsite location. This is done via camera and microphone on a tablet, smart phone, or desktop, using an Internet or cellular connection. VRI reduces the risk of misunderstanding by capturing body language and facial expressions to read visual cues.

Before implementing VRI, your organization should discuss the needs of your audience and how video will fit into your language access plan. Take the time to have this discussion with your front-line staff and any other key stakeholders. Here are a few questions to prompt discussion:

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Infographic: How Language Access Helps Government Agencies Build Public Trust

Posted by Greg Holt on June 15, 2017

Government agencies must overcome language barriers to improve public service and build stronger relationships with their communities.

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Three Metrics to Determine the ROI of Language Access for Government

Posted by Greg Holt on May 19, 2017

Government agencies face enormous challenges.

A growing list of regulations and unfunded mandates have put a strain on already-tight budgets. Maintaining employee morale and retention while serving an increasingly diverse population with high expectations—amid growing public scrutiny—only adds to the pressure.

Improving communication and the overall customer experience is central to overcoming these challenges, and language services are an important component of achieving this. But without meaningful metrics, agencies have a hard time assessing their progress.

Here are three service-related metrics all government agencies should track as they strive to create a better experience for everyone they serve.

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Effective Language Access: The Challenge for Educators

Posted by Greg Holt on August 10, 2016

With the advent of legislation like the Every Student Succeeds Act, No Child Left Behind, and other regulations that strengthen the involvement of parents in their children’s education, school districts have a growing need for successful language access programs.

At the core of the need for language solutions is the principle of ensuring meaningful access to educational programs. Federal legislation, like Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin, which today includes language. Other statutes touching on equal opportunity for children (and their parents) to participate in the educational process include the Equal Educational Opportunity Act, Title III of No Child Left Behind Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Mandates to provide equal access to the benefits of public education are a common theme.

The main driver for the growth of language services in schools is the Limited English Proficient (LEP) population around the country. In the United States, where 1 in 5 individuals now speak a language other than English at home, schools encounter significant language barriers. English language learners (ELL) comprised 9.3% (or 4.5 million students) in 2013-2014. In California that number reached 22.7%! These statistics don’t account for LEP parents. Communicating with parents in their preferred language is critical to their full understanding and participation in their children’s education. 

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