February 20, 2023

Language Access Study for the City of San Antonio

CI:Now has completed a language access study for the City of San Antonio’s Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion Department. Working closely with Language Access Manager Emily Yaffe, CI:Now used both publicly-available data like Census PUMS and de-identified administrative datasets like the C3HIE health information exchange to understand what languages are spoken in San Antonio and Bexar County, and in what neighborhoods those languages are most common. The results are informing the City’s Language Access Plan to improve community engagement and access to City resources and services. One of the project products is proposed language tiers that guide decisions about translation and interpretation in each language:

  • Tier 1 (Translation and interpretation required): Spanish and American Sign Language
  • Tier 2 (Translation recommended and interpretation upon request): Arabic, Vietnamese, and Pashto
  • Tier 3 (Translation encouraged and interpretation upon request): Korean, Tagalog, Chinese, and Gujarati

The study products have not yet been released, but Ms. Yaffe presented summary results, the rationale for the proposed languages in each tier, and language access planning background and next steps to the City Council’s Community Health, Environment, and Culture Committee in January. That video is available on SASpeakUp, and her presentation begins at about the 1:04:00 mark.

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