Needs and Challenges
Over the past five years since the Summit and the release of the Call to Action, there have been conversations and reports that jurisdictions have been making significant improvements in their language access services. In order to document and accurately capture all of the progress that has been made, NCSC, with SJI support, distributed a survey to measure these improvements.
NCSC distributed the survey to each state, territory, and the District of Columbia. It was directed to the entities or persons responsible for the delivery and oversight of language access services within each jurisdiction. Forty-eight out of 48 jurisdictions participated in the survey.
The survey instrument itself was based on the nine Action Steps as laid out in the Call to Action. The Actions Steps are an ideal measure of progress as they lay out a comprehensive guide to improving language access services and programs. The survey presented 42 questions, consisting of both multiple choice questions and queries requiring narrative answers. There were 11 areas of questions in the survey, including the 9 Action Steps: Data Collection, Oversight, Monitoring, Training for Key Stakeholders, Interpreter Training and Certification, Collaboration, Remote Technology, Compliance, and Funding. The additional two areas focused on challenges that still exist and self-assessment of progress.
The comprehensive and in-depth questions were designed to assess all of the components of a program’s language access services. Also, the survey asked jurisdictions to provide highlights of what has worked best and what they would recommend to other jurisdictions. Further, the survey also collected information on the types of challenges that still exist, which is useful in providing a complete picture of the path of trying to implement specific aspects of services. As a result, NCSC has collected a summary of activities and the best course of action for other jurisdictions to use as a model.
Overall, the survey revealed that the majority of jurisdictions across the country have made a great deal of progress and improvements in providing language access services. The first part of this section presents an overview of improvements that jurisdictions report making in the past five years and also a summary of specific innovations and program highlights. This is followed by a breakdown of the survey data by each Action Step. While the survey itself was in-depth, the jurisdictions’ responses were extensive and detailed. Please note that the bulleted arrows are the actual responses from the jurisdictions that participated in the survey. We felt it was important to capture and document these responses in this report and to maintain the accuracy and integrity of the data.
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