Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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English Q&A

  1. What is Executive Order No. 26?
    Executive Order No. 26 (“Statewide Language Access Policy”) directs New York state agencies that provide direct public services to translate vital documents, including essential public documents such as forms and instructions. The translations will be in the six most common non-English languages, as was determined by the U.S. Census, which are: Italian, Russian, Korean, Chinese, Haitian-Creole, and Spanish; OPWDD has also determined Urdu and Yiddish to be necessary languages for the people it supports and serves.
  2. What is the basis for developing and implementing Executive Order 26?
    The purpose of Executive Order No. 26 is to ensure access to New York state agency supports and services, programs, and activities in a nondiscriminatory basis.
  3. What is the definition of a Limited English Proficient (LEP) individual?
    Persons who do not speak English as their primary language and have a limited ability to read, write, or understand English may be considered LEP.
  4. What is a Language Access Plan?
    An agency’s LAP is an administrative blueprint that identifies how an agency will ensure that meaningful access will be available to LEP individuals. The LAP outlines the tasks to be taken, establishes deadlines by which actions will be taken, identifies responsible personnel, and establishes priorities. An agency’s LAP should be updated every two years.
  5. Who will oversee OPWDD LAP compliance?
    Each agency’s Language Access Coordinator has ultimate responsibility for ensuring compliance with the requirements of Executive Order No. 26. At OPWDD, that person is Nicole Weinstein, Office of Diversity/Inclusion and Special Projects.
  6. What are the state agency requirements relative to language access?
    Each agency must provide interpretation services between the agency and an individual in his or her primary language when providing supports and services; each agency must provide all vital and public documents in a person’s primary language when providing them to support services; internal monitoring must take place and a system for complaints must be created and implemented.
  7. What is the difference between “interpretation” and “translation”?
    “Interpretation” involves the immediate communication of meaning from one language to the other. An interpreter conveys meaning, orally, while a translator conveys meaning from written text to written text. As a result, interpretation requires skills that are different from those needed for translation.
  8. If I requested and was not provided with language access services by OPWDD, what can I do?
    You can do one of three things:
    1. Fill out OPWDD’s LEP Complaint Form;
    2. Call 1-866-946-9733; or
    3. Email: [email protected].
Edits Needed: 

A bunch of stuff still needs to be done here, number to be determined, etc.