News & Updates

BPDA launches new web page detailing Language Access Plan

Jan 11, 2022

In order to promote a more inclusive public process throughout the BPDA's work, the agency has launched a new Language Access Plan (LAP) web page. The LAP ensures that individuals who identify as having Limited English Proficiency (LEP) have access to the public process, and are able to access programs, and essential information.

Since the LAP was approved in early 2021, planning, community engagement, and development initiatives have adopted language access in their public process. This led to the translation of essential information and interpreting during public engagement. Language access has also made it easier for consitutens to provide feedback during public hearings, and engagements. Going forward, improvements to language access will continue to increase the turnout and participation of LEP constituents.

The LAP requires translation and interpreting of essential documents and public outreach initiatives related (but not limited) to planning and development review. This is triggered when 5 percent (or 1000 individuals) within a given community identify as LEP. Essential documents are those that allow access to the agency's planning and development review public processes. Translated advertisements, and meeting notices are to also be provided. Translation and interpreting services are secured by the Language Access Coordinator at no cost to our constituents.

In some areas, multiple languages meet this threshold, which is determined by most recent estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau. The agency may also include other languages based on specific community needs.

In line with our mission to give all local residents a voice in what goes on in their communities, we are continuing to work to remove language barriers. The higher the percentage of residents who can weigh in on projects that affect their neighborhoods, the more successful the project outcomes.

While some municipalities have translation requirements for public meetings and informational materials, it’s not a consistent requirement across the United States. We’re setting a new standard for inclusivity. Learn more on the web page.

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