Language access makes it possible for limited English proficient (LEP) individuals to access 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. According to the most recent U.S. Census, Nassau County has 130,000 individuals who consider themselves to be LEP.
It’s been two years since Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano signed Executive Orders 67 & 72, promising interpretation and translation at Nassau County Agencies, yet little progress has been made. Many programs were already required to provide language access under federal law and have failed to meet their legal responsibilities.
This report from Long Island Language Advocates Coalition (LILAC) describes the importance of, and need for, comprehensive language access in Nassau County based on the demographics as well as moral imperative, the legal precedents and requirements which extend all the way to the federal level, and the history of advocacy efforts in Nassau County before and after the signing of Executive Orders 67 and 72. Also included are the results of testing efforts conducted by members of numerous community based organizations well after the language access orders should have been fully implemented.
Media: “Protesters say county fails on promise to provide interpreters” (Newsday, 8/25/2015)
Media: “Inmigrantes no reciben atención adecuada en Nassau” (Noticia, 9/1/2015)
Media: “Protesters call for language access implementation in Nassau” (News 12 Long Island)