There are millions of New Yorkers who do not speak English as their primary language and have limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English. For these New Yorkers, their Limited English Proficiency status presents potential barriers to accessing important government programs and services.
The Office of Language Access provides critical oversight and coordination across New York State agencies to ensure that the statewide language access policy, which Governor Hochul expanded in April 2022, is implemented efficiently and effectively. The Office of Language Access is a part of the Office of General Services, which also supports New York’s language access policy by maintaining the State contract through which agencies are able to access vendors that provide interpretation and translation services.
Under New York's language access policy, agencies must provide interpretation services in any language and translation services in the top 12 most common non-English languages spoken by Limited English Proficient New Yorkers.
A Language Access Plan sets forth the actions an agency will take to ensure meaningful access to their services for Limited English Proficient New Yorkers.
State agencies that provide Language Access services must have a designated Language Access Coordinator that monitors the agency’s compliance with the language access law.