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Language Access in Parks

Issue Highlights: 

Language Access in Parks

Language access is a basic but critical part of improving the park experience for immigrants. Newcomers who are just learning English—or even those with a solid grasp of it—find it difficult to navigate the government bureaucracy and to find out how the parks system works if information is available only in English. Immigrants learning English are unable to fully participate in meetings about their parks if these are conducted only in English. Immigrants are less likely to attend parks activities if these are advertised only in English and are not relevant to their culture. Improving language access helps eliminate misunderstandings between park personnel and immigrant park users, and expands opportunities for all to participate in park improvements, activities, and maintenance.

Our Parks Advocacy Program seeks to ensure that:
• The NYC Parks Department fulfills its obligation to provide translation and interpretation services as mandated by the mayor’s Executive Order 120 and the parks agency’s Language Access Policy Plan. The NYIC and The Immigrants and Parks Collaborative have partnered with the Parks Department to ensure successful implementation of its language access plan.
• Signs that explain important rules, announcements, and services are translated into multiple languages.
• Outreach and facilitation of meetings about capital improvement plans, changes or emerging issues in parks led by the NYC Parks Department are conducted in the languages predominantly spoken in the affected neighborhoods.

To learn more about our efforts to eliminate language barriers in our parks system, contact Silvett García, the housing and community development coordinator, at 212-627-2227 x230 or sgarcia@thenyic.org.

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