Committee Executive Director Jonathan Smith Urges DC Council Chairman to Move Language Access Bill Forward to a Vote

The Language Access for Education Amendment Act of 2017 enables the DC Office of Human Rights to impose a monetary fine on DC government agencies that violate the Language Access Act of 2004. The 2004 Act requires DC agencies to provide interpretation in all languages in order to serve limited- and non-English proficient customers when bilingual employees are not available, and to translate vital documents into certain languages so that these customers can understand and participate in government services. However, the 2004 Act does not provide any remedies for residents whose rights are violated.

We believe that once agencies face potential monetary consequences for failure to comply with the law, they will take steps to ensure that customers do receive the language access they deserve, finally realizing the Council’s original intent in passing the 2004 law. That is why our ED Jonathan Smith has called on DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson to continue to take steps so that the Language Access for Education Amendment Act of 2017 can move forward in the D.C. Council and reach a vote.

Read Jon’s letter here…

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