“What the DC Language Access Act means to me” by Brandie Grant

  As a business student interested in working internationally, I feel it is important to recognize and be open-minded with global barriers such as language. I imagine myself submerged in different cultures overseas and how intimidating it can be when you are equally as competent as those around you but segregated due to language. Here in the capital of our nation I find that it’s important that we cater to the six largely represented languages (besides English) and future languages that may arise as well.  As the United States becomes a larger melting pot it is crucial for it to become the norm that all states equally distribute government services to those who have limited English proficiency.

In my recent personal events, my grandmother from Honduras sought financial aid in reconciling taxes and funds. Although she is able to speak English as a second language she was taken advantage of due to difficulty understanding and translating the terminology and had been led to sign off checks that her financial adviser pocketed for herself. Fortunately, my grandmother had the aid of her children and those resources provided the chance to correct this injustice. But then I thought to myself: what about those who don’t have those resources? Who will be there to fight for their rights? The Language Access Act is a stepping-stone to help prevent future cases such as this. On April 21, 2004 this act was implemented and it is in our hands to encourage its continual support and growth.

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