Protesters call for language access implementation in Nassau

Immigrant advocates in Nassau County rallied to send a message to the Mangano administration regarding language access implementation.

Protesters say the county has failed to implement the policy that County Executive Ed Mangano said would take effect a year ago. Advocates say non-English speaking residents are having a difficult time receiving translations when trying to access county services.

Members of the Long Island Language Advocates Coalition say they attempted in April and June to access services in Nassau County in languages other than English, including Spanish, Haitian Creole, Mandarin Chinese, Korean and Russian. They say many were mocked and others were hung up on. They say only four calls were successful.

Mangano's spokesman says no complaints were filed at the agencies called by the advocates. He recommends they file complaints so the agencies can better serve the public.

In a statement to News 12, the Mangano administration says it is in compliance with the Federal Civil Rights Act and that "the language access complaint form is available in English and the six other most commonly spoken languages in Nassau County."

When News 12 went to the county Health Department, workers said they could take a complaint verbally but did not know anything about a complaint form.

Protesters say Nassau police have actively started using a third-party translator service to help limited-English speaking residents. They are hoping that will become standard at all county agencies.

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