“I Speak” Cards

“What language do you speak?”  “I speak ______.” By transferring this commonly verbal interaction into a written form, already translated in both the English and non-English languages, these cards allow individuals to self-identify the language in which they understand and can communicate. We distribute these cards to limited and non-English proficient residents to spread awareness of Language Access and to encourage individuals to always keep a card on hand in case they need to self-identify their language preference. This self-identification by the resident may be more cumbersome to communicate verbally, so the idea behind the cards is to minimize the awkwardness of e.g. explaining to the front desk employee that s/he needs interpretation or assistance from a bilingual staff member. When a DC government employee sees a resident show an “I Speak” card, the employee immediately knows two things:

  1. The person speaks a particular non-English language and needs assistance in that language
  2. The person knows that s/he has the right to receive these language services.

Then the employee will continue the interaction verbally through either utilizing telephonic interpretation services or the assistance of a bilingual staff member, and by providing any available translated documents if applicable.

Download a PDF of the “I Speak” cards for DC:

Or, visit the DC Office on Human Rights to request hard copies of the “I Speak” cards at: DC Office on Human Rights 441 4th Street NW, Suite 570N Washington, DC 20001 Phone: (202) 727-4559 Email: ohr@dc.gov Website: OHR.dc.gov

Also, check out our Public Service Announcement (PSA) on Language Access:

I Speak Spanish

ISpeak Spanish

I Speak Vietnamese

I Speak Vietnamese

I Speak Korean

I Speak Korean

I Speak French

I Speak French

I Speak Chinese

I Speak Chinese

I Speak Amharic

I Speak Amharic

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