LANGUAGE ACCESS GOAL:  DELIVERY

All the translation of vital information cannot meet the end goal of ACCESS - if we fail to DELIVER it to all the language communities who need it.

Knowledge is power.  Delivery of shared information builds shared values.  It is the cornerstone of American community vitality, and the foundation of a community's social cohesion.

 

HOUSTON LANGUAGE BANK

is the uniquely Houston Solution designed to meet the public information communication challenges of our Global City.  It brokers resources to needs among public & private sector partners, connecting cultures and commerce with prescriptive solutions for Essential Public Information Communications.

21st Century Web-Based Communication Solutions

Serving Houston's language constituencies, prior to the Internet, was cost-prohibitive; re printing / mailing / media / distribution.  Accurately rendered translation work has been affordable- often donated, discounted or underwritten by contributing stakeholders for public service outcomes.  Now, "in-language pages" can be embedded in, or hyperlinked to, existing websites, as was done so effectively by the 2010 Census.gov website. Ultimately, expensing the costs of translations, formatting and web attachment programming is well within the operating budgets of the public sector.  It is merely a matter of solution awareness and the will to engage their constituencies. 

Defining Critical Content Information

Critical information concerns broad-based issues like public safety, disaster preparedness, public health, property tax appraisal and protest rules, crime prevention and civic engagement in regional planning.  More specific information fundamentals include how to ride the bus or how to file a new business DBA.  None of this is currently provided in-language by the public sector entities supported by our diverse language tax base. 

 

To foster regional economic development, critical content communications in-language can support the growth of tourism and attract foreign business interests.   Our region's trade and tourism industries can also benefit by moving to efficient delivery of critical content communication translated to serve international visitors, starting with the Houston Airport System.  It is this level of practicable innovation of a truly unique service compliment that can confer a first-tier competitive edge to our region in the global marketplace.

 

Universal access in-language to vital public information access for Houstonians supports and  builds the region's global competitiveness.

Cost Efficient Information Delivery via Community Engagement

Critical public information is condensed to its English essentials, for cost efficiencies in both translations and bi-lingual web page formatting.

As in-language content is posted on agency web pages, targeted awareness campaigns direct communities to those new info-pages.  Houston Language Bank brokers Partnership commitments between public sector and diverse civic stakeholders, to support translations and partner in awareness; i.e., media, consulates, chambers of commerce, faith-based entities, professional & community organizations, student & senior groups, as well as service agencies. 

Houston Language Bank Partners 'forward' new translated info-content via their websites, driving their audiences to new in-language public sector sites and hyperlinks.  This 'info-link forwarding' generates viral communication extending information reach exponentially, expeditiously and cost effectively.

Houston Language Bank also customizes Demographic & Communications Training for public sector decision makers and government agency Language Coordinators, to embed professional development skill capacities for Language Access tasking within each agency.

 


Public Information Access Equity

Up to 1.8 million constituent taxpayers do not have equitable access to essential public information in Houston, Texas.  Conservative analyses estimate more than 550,000 International Houstonians, with up to 200 different languages spoken here.  That estimate exceeds 1.8M in City population when Spanish-speakers are counted. 

Access to essential public information is critical, both for economic development and constituent service efficiencies.  Among an increasing plurality of the tax base, there is a great and growing unmet need for communication of basic public information, including, but not limited to:

Hurricane preparedness, emergency warnings, evacuation plans

  • Homeland Security communication
  • Business licensing, filings, permits, inspections, fire safety
  • Public health, food inspection, childhood immunization, disease control 
  • Robbery prevention, personal safety, human trafficking
  • Municipal courts information, police incident reporting
  • Water conservation, neighborhood variance notification

Effective Engagement and Cost Efficient Communication

Only critical content information is addressed by this project.  What is considered critical content is primarily determined by the public agency.  Information content can then be edited, condensed to its essentials in English, facilitating both translation and formatting for bilingual page display.

As in-language content is posted on public agency websites, diverse constituents are driven to those sites and links via a targeted promotion campaign.  Our project team negotiates partnership commitments between the public sector entity and diverse civic organizations.

The civic partners are local ethnic media, foreign consulates, chambers of commerce, community groups, faith-based entities, student and senior organizations and diverse service agencies that will contribute to critical content translation efforts.

These same partners have their own organization websites.  Their sites will serve as the launch vehicles for the targeted promotion campaign to drive their diverse constituent networks to the new in-language public sector sites and hyperlinks.  This information "forwarding" tactic produces a viral communication spiral that extends the information reach exponentially, expeditiously and cost efficiently.

Houston Language Bank's goal is comprehensive communications planning for effective reach to 90% of the diverse language constituents in the region. 

Asian Community Support Services Center, Inc. (ACSSC) • 1714 Tannehill Drive • Houston, TX 77008 • [713] 861-8270
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