On October 6, 2011, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 26, which directed state agencies to provide language assistance services (translation and interpretation) to people of Limited English Proficiency (LEP). LEP individuals are identified in a Language Access Plan developed by each agency.
Interpretation is spoken and translation is written. Affected agencies should provide an interpreter for any language. This service is primarily provided by phone. They should also translate select vital documents into specific languages. The languages are those that agencies identify in their plans as the most widely used by LEP individuals who access their services.
The U.S. Department of Justice Language Access Assistance Guide states, “vital written documents include, but are not limited to:
At the moment, Spanish, traditional Chinese, Russian, Haitian-Creole, Korean and Italian are the six most common non-English languages spoken in the state.
This is based on US Census data and may change over time. Some agencies may also choose to add additional languages based on their experience and other federal requirements.
The executive order was signed by the governor on October 6, 2011. It made the effective date of all agency plans October 5, 2012 (365 days from signing). Agencies will update their plans every two years thereafter.
Each agency has a Language Access Coordinator to oversee the agency's Language Access Plan. The Deputy Secretary of Civil Rights in the Governor's Office will make sure each agency complies with the order.
To reach the Department of Labor's Language Access Coordinator:
Language Access Coordinator: Eric Denk
Office phone: 607-778-2836
Mobile phone: 607-205-5491
Mailing address: 171 Front Street, Binghamton NY 13905
Agencies also have uniform documents to help people identify the services that are available. Posters, notices, and complaint forms are all the same, so people can easily identify and recognize them.
Those who feel that we have not provided adequate interpretation services, or have denied them access to an available translated document, may submit a complaint form to give us their feedback.
If you would like to obtain more information about language access at New York State agencies, visit the Division of Human Rights.
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