DCPS Speaks Your Language!
DCPS strives to ensure that all parents are given a meaningful opportunity to participate in their child’s education program. DCPS students and their families communicate in over 120 different languages. DCPS has a Language Access Unit to ensure the provision of appropriate translation and interpretation services for limited English proficient (LEP) individuals in accordance with the DC Language Access Act.
Written Translation Services
The Language Access Unit provides written translations of agency-wide documents in Spanish, Amharic, and Chinese. Translations of school-level documents are available in Spanish and any other language spoken by at least 3% of the school population.
Oral Interpretation Services
The Language Access Unit works with contract interpreters and professional DCPS staff to provide real-time, face-to-face communication with families and groups of students or parents to facilitate communication with those who communicate best in a language other than English.
Over-the-phone interpretation services are available to families when communicating with schools or central offices. Telephonic interpretation is available in over 240 languages, through Language Line, a contracted vendor. These services can be accessed by any individual when contacting any DCPS staff member.
The Language Access Unit
The Language Access Unit is responsible for spearheading efforts related to language access at DCPS. The unit:
- Provides interpretation and translation services to schools and central office teams;
- Oversees and monitors DCPS’s provision of language assistance services to LEP parents;
- Works closely with schools to ensure that the translation and interpretation services provided by DCPS support the needs of the LEP parent population;
- Serves as primary contact for schools and central office teams for ongoing guidance and support with language access services;
- Develops and provides language access training for school staff;
- Develops and/or provides language access materials to staff and families. Materials include multilingual welcome poster, a Language Identification poster to help determine the language spoken by a parent, sample I Speak Card for parents, and labels for school staff with instructions on how to obtain a telephonic interpreter.
- Provides input regarding appropriate budget allocations for translation and interpretation services;
- Maintains outside language services vendor contracts.
Parents have the right to receive information or communicate with a staff member at their school in their language. If you or someone you know needs help, tell the school or contact:
Executive Director, Language Acquisition Division
Language Access Specialist, Language Acquisition Division
Note to DCPS staff: Please visit the Language Access Unit Canvas page for additional information, including details on how to obtain translation and interpretation services. (You can “bookmark” the page to your Canvas Dashboard here for easier future access).