Civic Rights Regardless of Language
Language access allows Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals access to a wide range of services.
As defined by the U.S. Department of Justice, LEP individuals are persons who do not speak English as their primary language and who may have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English.
Limited English Proficient (LEP): A person who do not speak English as their primary language and who may have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English.
Interpretation: The process of orally rendering a spoken or signed communication from one language into another language.
Translation: The process of converting written text from one language into written text in another language.
Hey Polly is an online platform that connects LEPs to government and community resources. Its features allow LEPs to easily find resources, allowing them to easily navigate in their community. Hey Polly is one of many methods to solve for language access and we believe that it is the most effective when used with other language access strategies.
Other awesome organizations have developed and kindly shared great resources in bringing language access to your community. Our toolkit hopes to amplify the existing efforts of these organizations while also sharing the Hey Polly platform.
Please email us if you spot any broken links.
Web translations are often seen as a cost-effective way to provide access to vital information to LEPs online. It allows information to easily shared outside the constraints and limitations of print.
However, when web content is machine-translated using a plug-in or API such as Google Translate, the translated content is invisible to search engines. Hence, when a person is searching for information to accomplish a task in a language other than English, the website will not come up in the search results because that content does not exist. (Source: DigitalGov)