Free & Expanded Language Access Services Now Provided by State Agencies

New York State agencies are now providing provide free language interpretation in six major non-English languages, helping all New Yorkers have access to vital government services.

On October 6, 2011, Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order No. 26 that directed state agencies that provide direct services to the public to increase their foreign language access to help the approximately 2.5 million New Yorkers deemed to have Limited English Proficiency (LEP). As of today, state agencies are now equipped to provide free interpretation in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Italian, Korean and Haitian Creole, the six non-English languages spoken by the majority of the LEP community in New York, according to the U.S. Census. Agencies also have translated essential documents, forms and written notices of rights into those six languages.

According to the United States Census Bureau, almost 22% of New Yorkers were born outside of the U.S. and almost 30% speak a language at home other than English. Immigrants make up over 27% of New York’s workforce. In New York City, immigrants make up more than one-third (37%) of the population and almost one-half (46%) of the workforce.

The new language access directive requires each agency to conduct a language reassessment at least every two years to determine if additional languages will be needed.

For more information about Language Access, visit the Department of Labor’s website at

Translated versions of this announcement are available below: