FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, June 17, 2014
CONTACT: Elliot Imse, Director of Policy & Communications: 202.481.3773, [email protected]
WHAT/WHO: On Saturday, June 21, the DC Office of Human Rights (OHR), in partnership with District agencies and community partners, will convene a forum with District residents and workers who speak little or no English. The event will feature a morning roundtable discussion, facilitated in multiple languages, in an effort to hear directly from community members about their experiences seeking government services with limited English proficiency. The roundtables will be followed by a resource fair with District agency and community-based exhibitors providing a wide array of on-site services including health screenings.
BACKGROUND: In April, OHR launched a year-long campaign commemorating the passage of The DC Language Access Act of 2004 to celebrate and further the District’s commitment to providing equitable services to its growing and increasingly diverse immigrant population. The first event held on April 15 included a report launch and panel discussion highlighting policy recommendations from researchers and advocates for improving language access in the District over the next ten years. In an effort to give beneficiaries of Language Access an opportunity to weigh in on these recommendations, OHR will host a community forum to invite them to share their experiences and define priorities. This event is also intended to showcase the strides agencies have made in language access over the last 10 years. Select agencies will be featured at this event and offer real-time and in-language services during the resource fair. By participating in this event, community members who speak little or no English will be able to actively influence how government serves them, access services in their language, and learn about their legal rights and protections under the Language Access Act. Local government officials and community organizations are also expected to attend.
More information and an RSVP form are available at: http://ohr.dc.gov/govspeaks
About the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights
The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) was established to eradicate discrimination, increase equal opportunity and protect human rights for persons who live in or visit the District of Columbia. The agency enforces local and federal human rights laws, including the DC Human Rights Act, by providing a legal process to those who believe they have been discriminated against. OHR also proactively enforces human rights in the District through Director’s Inquiries, which allow it to identify and investigate practices and policies that may be discriminatory.