INFOGRAPHIC: A Checklist to Help You Evaluate Language Services Providers

Today in the United States, one out of every five of our neighbors speaks a language other than English at home—that’s more than 64 million people. Another 10 million are Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Many struggle to communicate as they navigate their everyday lives. A doctor’s visit, a traffic stop, a parent-teacher conference, or a trip to the bank—things we take for granted—can be very difficult for these individuals. As most of us would, they may feel embarrassed, frustrated, or excluded.

Whereas this lack of understanding is distressing, the experience of being understood is empowering. Language access can be far more than transactional—the mere exchanging of words, much as one would exchange one currency for another. When done right, language access is transformational. Believe it or not, the language and cultural hurdles you’re facing today can be turned into enormous opportunities.

For this to happen, you’ll need a partner that can take these challenges and help you manage them with ease. Language services providers (LSPs) provide the interpretation and translation services you’ll need. But which LSP is right for your organization?

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Do You Fully Understand Your Agency's ADA Responsibilities to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing?

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act covers a lot of terrain. Many public agencies lack a specific understanding of their communication responsibilities to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing under Title II.

September is officially Deaf Awareness Month. In recognition, we are hosting an upcoming webinar called “ADA Title II: Understanding the Communication Responsibilities of State and Local Agencies.” During this webinar, leading ADA and disabilities rights expert Julia Sain will outline requirements for state and local government agencies when communicating with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities they serve. She will also address attendee questions.

In particular, this webinar will be essential listening for state and local government officials who are responsible for language access and compliance. Non-profit organizations that work with local government agencies to provide services will also find it of great interest.

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What Languages Will Your Customers Speak in 10 Years?

If you think it’s difficult to define your typical customer today, imagine what it will be like in a decade.

For one thing, by 2030, the concept of one particular racial or ethnic group being in the majority will be fading fast and will be non-existent by 2043, according to U.S. Census data. Your customers may be just as likely to speak Spanish at home as they are to speak English. And although they may be able to speak English, many will feel more comfortable having conversations in another language.

If you want your company to continue providing exceptional customer service and maintaining a competitive advantage, you need to be prepared to welcome anyone who walks in the door.

What will be the most common languages in the United States in the future? While no one knows for sure, we can get some good indicators by looking at a few key trends.

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The Six Medical Documents That Absolutely, Positively Must Be Translated

As a healthcare provider, the patient is always your main concern. Of course, the care you provide is also guided by laws and regulations.

While some of these laws and regulations can make the jobs of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other providers more complicated, we can all agree that the majority of them help ensure that patients and health care professionals are protected and everyone can access the same high-quality medical care when it’s needed.

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Immigration: Millions to Feel ‘Chilling Effect’ of Public Charge Rule

Each week, LanguageLine selects and excerpts five stories about language and culture that we think readers will find intriguing. Here is this week’s “Liner Notes”:

The public-charge rule issued this week by the Trump administration will have profound effects on legal admissions to the United States and on use of public benefits by millions of legal noncitizens and the U.S. citizens with whom they live.

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By 2050, U.S. Could Have More Spanish Speakers Than Any Country

By 2050, the United States could have more Spanish speakers than any other country, according to a report from the Cervantes Institute.

With more than 52 million native and Spanish-language speakers, America is now the second-largest Spanish speaking population in the world after Mexico. In other words, the U.S. already has more Spanish speakers than Spain.

Approximately 41 million of these individuals, or 13.4 percent of the U.S. population, report that they speak Spanish at home. Forty-three percent of all U.S. Spanish speakers assessed themselves as speaking English less than “very well” in the 2013-2017 American Community Survey.

Mexico has 121 million Spanish speakers. Data obtained by the Cervantes Institute from the U.S. Census Bureau suggests that the U.S. will have an estimated 138 million Spanish speakers by 2050.

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NEW eBOOK: Telehealth and the Vital Role of Language Access

Healthcare organizations are adopting telehealth technology at an impressive rate.

Legislation, escalating costs to deliver traditional services, and overall population health management have accelerated interest in telemedicine solutions. More than half of hospitals are expected to have installed telehealth technology by 2020. Especially in heretofore underserved populations, telehealth stands to dramatically improve the delivery of quality care to areas where it has been challenging - if not impossible - to access.

But for telemedicine platforms to truly be revolutionary, they must be able to hear every voice, including those that speak a language other than English. In other words, if you are building a telehealth solution without limited-English speakers in mind – stop!

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CASE STUDY: Southern Hospital Uses Phone Interpreting to Assist Limited English Patients (Video)

Nearly half the residents of Lowndes County, Mississippi, are ethnic minorities, many of whom speak limited English.

For more than a decade, Baptist County Memorial Hospital has used a dual-handset phone to provide language access to patients who are not fluent in English.

Baptist has eight of the phones, which provide round-the-clock connections to LanguageLine’s 10,000-plus professional interpreters. The patient holds one handset, the doctor holds the other, and the language interpreter is remote.

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INFOGRAPHIC: Here’s How America Will Look in 25 Years

Did you know that by 2045, ethnic minorities will be the majority of the U.S. population?

Or that immigration will be responsible for almost 90 percent of America’s population growth between now and then? Are you aware that in just over 30 years, the U.S. is expected to have more Spanish speakers than any other country?

America’s cultural shifts are gaining speed. The demographic changes that have gradually occurred over the course of our history will pass an important demarcation point, as ethnic minorities will make up the majority of the U.S. population within 25 years.

LanguageLine’s new infographic, “America’s ‘Majority Minority’ Future,” paints a picture of a United States that will be much more multicultural and multilingual than it is today. You can download the new infographic by clicking here.

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CASE STUDY: Atlantic City Police Overcome Cultural Barriers by Speaking Residents’ Languages

Atlantic City is best recognized as a transient resort area memorialized by Bruce Springsteen. Now Atlantic City is becoming known for something else: its diversity. More than two dozen languages are spoken in the school system alone.

Linguistic hurdles present challenges to the Atlantic City police force, which is making gains in navigating cultural differences and building trust.

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