About Language & Disability Access Plan

About the Language and Disability Access Plan

In January 2022, the Buffalo Common Council unanimously passed the resolution 2022 Council Goals for Language Access, which directs Council Staff to provide direct public services to offer access services (translation and interpretation) to people with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and people with disabilities. In September 2022, the Council unveiled their Language and Disability Access Plan to immediately address the needs of all constituents.

Language Access:

Approximately 17% of Buffalo residents do not speak English as their primary language and have limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English. For these Buffalonians, their LEP status presents potential barriers to accessing important government programs and services.

The seven most common languages spoken in Buffalo by people with Limited English Proficiency and English language learners are:

  • Spanish

  • Arabic

  • Karen

  • Somali

  • Burmese

  • Swahili

  • Bengali 

Disability Access:

According to the US Census Bureau, approximately 14 percent of Buffalonians under the age of 65 live with a disability.

It is important that government agencies provide accessible environments, relevant assistive technology, as well as services, systems and policies that strengthen the involvement of all people living with disabilities in all areas of life. 

What is the Language and Disability Access Plan?

The Buffalo Common Council’s Language and Disability Access Plan sets forth the actions to be taken by the Buffalo Common Council to ensure meaningful access to services for all residents. 

This includes but is not limited to:

  • On-demand requests for language interpreter and ASL interpreter services

  • List of languages that can be currently translated

  • List of services for people with disabilities

  • Total Council staff with language access skills and abilities

  • Training plan, annual monitoring plan, and outreach strategies

  • Technology resources for translation and interpretation

  • Regular updates to the Language Access Plans based on needs and requests

Complaint Form:

What if someone does not receive adequate language assistance or is denied services?

It is the policy of the Buffalo Common Council to provide language access services for Council related public services and meetings. If you feel that you have not been provided with adequate interpretation services or you have been denied adequate translation assistance, please fill out our language access form.