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What Executive Order 26.1 Means for New York State’s Public Service Agencies

Covered Agencies in New York need to offer language services to populations with limited English proficiency (LEP).

Jessica Rivera's avatar
Jessica Rivera

April 06, 2022

4 MIN READ

New York is a melting pot, with most of the racial and ethnic makeup being 41 percent white, 30 percent Hispanic, 24 percent black, and 14 percent Asian. That diversity and demographic shift are now showing up in the form of an executive order being continued by Kathy Hochul, the current Governor of New York. According to Executive Order 26.1, every executive state agency that provides public services must translate vital documents into the ten most common languages spoken by LEP individuals in New York.

Currently, the top ten most common non-English languages spoken in New York State are:

  • Spanish
  • Chinese
  • Russian
  • Yiddish
  • Bengali
  • Korean
  • Haitian Creole
  • Italian
  • Arabic
  • Polish

What does Executive Order 26,1 Require Exactly?

  • Executive state agencies must offer language assistance services (translation and interpretation) to people with Limited English Proficiency (LEP).
  • Each executive state agency that provides direct public services is required to offer interpretation services to individuals in their primary language with respect to the provision of services or benefits.
  • These agencies must also translate vital documents, including public documents such as forms, into the ten most common non-English languages spoken by LEP individuals in the State of New York (based on the most recent United States census data).
  • The agencies must appoint a Language Access Coordinator and publish a Language Access Plan.
  • The Language Access Coordinator is responsible for executing the plan and addressing complaints.
  • Translation shall be achieved on a rolling basis to be completed no later than August 1, 2022.

Diverse Population Growth

New York continues to grow, and its growth comes from multicultural populations. The Latino population is the best example, which continues to be the biggest driver of population growth in the state. Today, millions of New Yorkers speak Spanish.

  • Between 2010 and 2020, New York’s Latino population grew from 3.4 to 3.9 million — an increase of 15.5% — leading the Latino share of the state population to grow from 17.6% to 19.5%.” (source)
  • By comparison, the state’s non-Latino population increased by only 1.8%.
  • The increase in New York’s Latino population accounted for 64.5% of the state’s population growth over the past decade; it’s the second-largest group in the state, representing about 19 percent of the population.” (source)

Growth has also surged from Asian populations that now encompass over 8% of the population. Today, millions of New Yorkers speak Chinese, Korean, and other oriental languages.

  • The Asian American population in New York State increased by 37.6 percent, growing from 1,579,494 in 2010 to 2,173,719 in 2020.
  • Asian Americans made up 10.8 percent of the total population of New York State in 2020,up from 8.2 percent in 2010.
  • The state’s population of Asian children increased 32.4 percentin the last decade compared to a 4.9 percent decrease in the population of all children. (source)

Population growth is not slowing, and as long as growth comes from multicultural populations, language access policies will continue to happen more frequently.

How can Language Access Coordinators Reduce Complaints?

In a highly diverse and interconnected state, it’s highly recommended that Language Access Coordinators provide website translation if they have a digital online presence, along with document translation and interpretation services.

Website translation gives LEP populations access to everything online in their preferred language, instantly reducing language access complaints and reducing customers’ service calls.

The best translation and localization companies offer professional services that include all digital content translation and offline document translation, which consists of the capabilities of storing your translations in a translation memory database. This allows the reuse of translations for any multichannel use at no additional cost.

Is executive order 26.1 still in effect with Andrew Cuomo resigning?

Yes. The request translation and language services requirement completion date are still set for August 2022.

Implement Translation into Your Digital Content

Serving populations with limited English proficiency requires us to consider every channel where LEP populations can access information, whether it is online or offline. Website translation is one of many necessary channels to properly serve LEP populations with instant and high-quality information.

MotionPoint can help guide your covered agency through the complexities of website localization through various technologies and solutions. Please reach out to learn more.

Last updated on April 06, 2022
Jessica Rivera's avatar

About Jessica Rivera

Jessica Rivera brings an expert understanding of global business, executive leadership, and holistic team and culture building to her role as MotionPoint’s EVP, Global Sales and Corporate Affairs. She has over 15 years of experience collaborating with C-suites at leading SaaS and fintech companies.

Jessica Rivera's avatar
Jessica Rivera

EVP, People & Performance / Chief Legal Officer

4 MIN READ

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