Afaan Oromo in DC Office of Human Rights Language Access
Participants of the event from various immigrant communities in DC
July 1, 2014, WASHINGTON, D.C. (ayyaantuu) – On Saturday June 21, 2014 the DC Office of Human Rights (OHR) convened a multilingual community dialogue and resource fair where about 100 diverse limited and non-English proficient residents made recommendations for strengthening Language Access in the District. The recommendations were the result of two-hour simultaneous roundtable discussions that took place in 10 different languages. As the second installment in a series of events hosted by OHR to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the DC Language Access Act, this unique community dialogue supplemented report findings from an Urban Institute study released in April, with direct community feedback on Language Access implementation over the last 10 years directly from the intended users.
“It’s truly incredible to be part of a city that welcomes, nurtures and enables its immigrant communities to thrive and contribute,” said OHR Language Access Program Director Winta Teferi. “As an immigrant myself, I know that Language Access is crucial for ensuring that those who speak little or no English can participate meaningfully in their government. Because DC is home to one of the most linguistically diverse populations, it is imperative that we engage and hear from all communities to ensure we meet the unique needs of all residents who speak little or no English.”
As a result of the discussion with a participation of a 15-member delegation of Oromo Community Organization of Washington DC, Afaan Oromo was recommended to be one of the language access in the District of Columbia. The participants of the event including officials of the various DC Government agencies understood very well the importance and the rights of Oromo residents needing such services in Afaan Oromo.
Because of the rapid growth of Oromo community in the Washington, D.C., there has been an increasing demand for Afaan Oromo translation services and Oromo participation in the affairs of the District.
Once the final work is finalized, the Language Access Department of the DC Office of Human Rights will declare the Afaan Oromo as an official language access in DC. Necessary signs will be translated and written in Qubee and placed in public quarters. Interpreters and translators in each and every DC government institution, hospital, school, DC government agency, etc. will be facilitated.
The Oromo Community Organization of Washington DC requests its members and supporters to support it in this effort.