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Language Access for Limited English Proficient New Yorkers

NYSDOL promotes language access so that everyone has full participation in all of its programs, and services.
Language Access for Limited English Proficient New Yorkers
Language Access Services

There are millions of New Yorkers who do not speak English as their primary language and have limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English. For these New Yorkers, their Limited English Proficient (LEP) status presents potential barriers to accessing important government programs and services.

In April 2022, Governor Hochul enacted New York State’s current language access policy as part of the FY 2023 Enacted Budget. This new law, which took effect on July 1, 2022, codified and expanded New York’s previous language access policy. Under the language access law, all State agencies that interact with the public must provide interpretation services in any language with respect to the provision of agency services or benefits, and must translate vital agency documents into the top 12 most commonly spoken non-English languages among LEP New Yorkers based on Census data.

NYSDOL provides one-on one assistance to LEP individuals both in person and over the phone by: providing oral interpretation services in the individual’s primary language to help them obtain of services or benefits;  providing forms and downloadable files in 29 languages, including all vital documents available in the 12 most commonly spoken non-English languages; developing and submitting a Language Access Plan; and designating a Language Access Coordinator who monitors agency compliance.

Ensuring Meaningful Access
Our Language Access Plan
A Language Access Plan sets forth the actions an agency will take to ensure meaningful access to their services for Limited English Proficient New Yorkers. This includes but is not limited to providing a list of translated documents and the languages in which those documents are available, identifying agency staff who have language access skills and abilities, preparing a training plan and annual monitoring plan, and describing outreach strategies. Agencies are required to update their Language Access Plans at least every two years.

Resources Learn More About Language Access at DOL

NYSDOL’s unemployment insurance chatbot, Perkins, currently speaks 13 languages. To get assistance with unemployment insurance, click the Perkins bot in the lower righthand corner of the DOL homepage and select your preferred language.

Access forms and downloadable files in 29 languages, including all vital documents available in the 12 most commonly spoken non-English languages. Select your preferred language in the filter to view all documents in that language.

Submit a Complaint
What if someone does not receive adequate language assistance or is denied services?
If you or someone you know feel that you have not been provided with adequate language access services, including translation or interpretation, please fill out our language access complaint form.
Providing language access to public services and programs
Call 1-888-469-7365 for free help in your language