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City Council's Committed to Assisting Residents with Limited English Proficiency

May 21, 2015
Cleveland City Council has begun efforts to make Cleveland more open and accessible to those with limited commands of the English language.

Whether you speak little or no English, Cleveland wants you to know you are welcome in this great city, not just to visit, but to settle, raise a family and proudly call yourself a Clevelander.

The City is committed to ensuring that individuals with “Limited English Proficiency” will be able to communicate with the city government and to understand and obtain city services.

This includes signage in City facilities, as well as telephone prompts, phone interpretation and translation for important documents and Web site postings translated into other languages, primarily Spanish.

Census data shows that Hispanics make up about 10 percent of Cleveland’s population. And nearly 12 percent of the City’s residents over age 5 speak a language other than English at home.

“Immigrants built our great city, settled here and raised their families,” said Council President Kevin Kelley. “All of us are part of a wonderfully rich melting pot and we want to preserve that culture.

“We want to extend to newcomers the same opportunities our grandparents and great-grandparents had when they came here from foreign lands.”

A working group invited by City leadership will include the City’s Director of the Community Relations Board, representatives from the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, and other community partners. The group will recommend steps and policies to eliminate language barriers.