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“Language Access is a Human Right”

Language access enables the exercise of the rights of immigrant communities to communication, education, health, culture, etc., to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone.

Educational Settings

“We need to make sure that when we are communicating with families to make sure that we are communicating with families in a language that they understand and that they feel more comfortable with. I truly believe that having language access can make a whole difference in how a situation will end: it is transformational.”

Educational Settings

Language is the primary medium of instruction. With proper language access, students who speak English may avoid significant barriers to learning. Here’s why language access is essential in education:

  • Academic Achievement: Students learn best when they understand the language of instruction. Their academic performance is affected if they need help understanding the material due to language barriers.
  • Cognitive Development: Language is crucial for cognitive development, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Students who lack language access may struggle to develop these skills.
  • Inclusion and Participation: Students who cannot understand the language may feel excluded and isolated from their peers, impacting their overall school experience.
  • Dropout Prevention: Language barriers can contribute to frustration and inadequacy, leading to higher dropout rates among linguistically marginalized students.

Legal Settings

Access to justice is a fundamental right, and language barriers should allow individuals to understand their legal rights and participate effectively in legal processes. Here’s why language access matters in legal settings:

  • Fair Trials: Accused individuals have the right to understand the charges against them and to communicate with their legal counsel. Language barriers can hinder this right.
  • Witness Testimonies: Language barriers can affect the reliability of legal proceedings. Language access allows witnesses and victims to express themselves clearly and provide accurate testimonies.
  • Due Process: Language access is essential for ensuring all individuals have equal access to legal procedures, regardless of their linguistic background.
  • Avoiding Miscarriages of Justice: Language barriers could lead to misunderstandings or misinterpretations, resulting in wrongful convictions or unfair outcomes.

Healthcare Settings

Effective communication is essential in healthcare settings to ensure accurate diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and patient safety. Language access in healthcare is crucial for the following reasons:

  • Quality of Care: Accurate communication between healthcare providers and patients is necessary to diagnose conditions correctly and give the proper treatment.
  • Informed Consent: Patients need to know exactly what’s going on with their health, their treatment choices, and what could go wrong. If they can’t understand because of language barriers, it’s hard for them to agree to treatment.
  • Preventing Mistakes: Miscommunication due to language barriers can lead to medical errors, adverse reactions, and even loss of life.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Language access also includes cultural sensitivity or respect, essential for understanding patients’ beliefs, practices, and preferences.

The primary purpose

of helping immigrant communities by improving communication,
education, health, and cultural adjustment.

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Language Access primarily focuses on the needs of the native Spanish-speaking community in California.

By donating to Language Access, you play a vital role