City chooses consultant to roll out Language Access Plan
February 19, 2019
The City of Pittsburgh has teamed up with Bromberg & Associates and Federal Compliance Consulting to aid in the rollout of the city’s Language Access Plan.
The city and consultants are moving forward with inclusively addressing the various communication and language needs of the city and community. The Heinz Endowments is funding and making this initiative a reality.
“Initiatives like this are essential to making Pittsburgh a welcoming place for all, no matter what communication or language needs you to have,” said Mayor William Peduto. “Enhancing our communication and language access services will help ensure that residents genuinely have the ability to obtain the information and services available to them.”
Carmen Anderson, director of Equity and Social Justice for the Endowments, agreed, describing the Language Access Plan as “an important step in meeting Pittsburgh’s obligation to provide equitable access to services for all members of the community.”
“The initiative will the provide the tools and other supports these residents need to help them thrive in the city,” she said.
The communication and Language Access consultants are tasked with creating an integration strategy for the various languages and communication needs reflected in the city. The Implementation of this plan will utilize enhanced and expanded interpretation services to increase accessibility for residents who have a disability, are English language learners, or have limited proficiency in the English language.
The consultants will be working with the mayor’s office Special Initiatives Manager Feyisola Alabi, representatives from each city department, and the members of the Communication and Language Access Task Force. The consultants will facilitate Task Force meetings over the next four to six months.
Meetings will evaluate departmental needs, teach best practices for communication and language access, provide training, and create strategies for how each city department can best assist all residents. The consultants and Task Force members will identify “key” city documents in need of being translated into Pittsburgh’s most commonly spoken languages. The city has identified languages such as Spanish, Nepali, Burmese, and Kurdish to name a few but through language access, the city will be able to translate in up to 200 various languages.
Each city department will provide translation services in the most commonly spoken languages. Each department will also be instructed to offer translation options for a broader selection of languages, and to provide aid for the hard of hearing, deaf, and blind communities.
The Bromberg & Associates and Federal Compliance consultants have created a list of goals regarding the Communication and Language Access Plan which includes assisting city departments with identifying and complying best practices for language access expansion. Determine steps for monitoring, evaluating, and updating the language access plan. An additional goal is to ensure there are tools to provide website and city facility accessibility for LEP (Limited English Proficiency) customers.