Mayor's Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs

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[OAPIA] 2014: A Language Odyssey

Monday, September 29, 2014

2014: A Language Odyssey is a policy report looking at the past, present, and future of language access in the District of Columbia and how it’s affected the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. The report pulls data from multiple sources and is intended to continue and expand the conversation around language access in the AAPI community. The Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (OAPIA) conducted its own research using in-language surveys and pulled data from various U.S. Census surveys. The report will present four major areas of interest in an effort to paint a picture of the progress of language access in the AAPI community and inform and educate policymakers, government employees, and advocates the effect the Act has had on the AAPI community.

There are four areas included:

  • Demographic overview of the AAPI population focusing on the changes in the community, particularly looking at language to inform a conversation on who is the population being served.
  • An exploration of the success of the Act using a proxy measure of bilingual documents and bilingual employees to gauge the trends since 2000 when language access first became an official policy in the District.
  • A look at the perceptions of the AAPI community’s motivations on using language access services to inform education and marketing campaigns in the future.
  • Recommendations on areas of focus on the AAPI community and language access.

The purpose of this report is to highlight the issues affecting the AAPI community in the District around language access and bring to the forefront the effects on the AAPI population. This is a starting point for the next 10 years to learn from the past and to make improvements in the future to further ensure equal access for the AAPI community and all LEP/NEP populations in the District.