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The City unveils new resource through Language Access Cards

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The City of Bowling Green's Web Site www.bgky.org

TO: ALL NEWS ORGANIZATIONS
DATE: February 11, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Leyda Becker
270.393.3766

The City of Bowling Green's International Communities Liaison Office
announces "Language Access Cards” in thirteen (13) different
languages

Bowling Green, KY - The International Communities Liaison Office
announced today a new resource is now available to Community-based
organizations and residents within the City of Bowling Green.   A
Language Access Card or "I Speak Card,” has been developed as part of
an ongoing effort by the City's International Communities Advisory
Council (ICAC) to ensure equal access to city services by our
International Community.

A tool designed to facilitate interactions between residents with
Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and city departments. The Language
Access Card invites individuals with limited language skills to identify
their preferred language and get access to telephone interpreter
services at all city departments at no cost.

The "I speak Cards” are double-sided cards with text in English and
its translation available in thirteen different languages, including: 
Arabic, Bosnian, Burmese, French, Hakha, Karen, Karenni, Nepali, Somali,
Spanish, Swahili, Vietnamese, and Zomi.  The cards also contain
important telephone numbers and information that facilitate access to
city services, and also serve as a reminder to city staff to ensure
equal access by meeting the interpretation needs of LEP individuals.

"The City of Bowling Green has become increasingly diverse”, added
Brent Childers, Neighborhood and Community Services Director, "it is
important to understand who makes up the population.  In 1990 only 1.5%
of residents were born in a foreign country; by 2010, that number had
increased 687% to 11.8%.  This figure does not include the number of
children born to foreign born parents. By looking at the languages
spoken by our residents, one can see the impact of the immigrant/refugee
population. In 1990, 3% of families spoke a language other than English
in the home; by 2010 that had risen to 14.5% for an increase of 339%.
The most common languages represented are Spanish, Bosnian and a variety
of Asian languages.”

The Language Access Cards will be unveiled at these upcoming events:

* International Communities Advisory Council Meeting - February 12,
6:00pm, Commission Chamber at City Hall,

* Community Partnership for Refugee & Immigrant Meeting - February 13,
9:00am, Warren County School Board of Education, and

* Parker-Bennett Community Center - February 15, 9:00am.  

The cards are also available via the City's new language access portal
at: http://www.bgky.org/language/. The "I speak card” is not required to
receive interpreter services.  For more information, contact the
International Communities Liaison Office at 393-3766 or visit the office
at City Hall Annex, 1017 College Street.