Philadelphia, July 12, 2013 – Philly311 has released a new widget, called Language Assistance, which will help non-English speaking residents learn about language services and community resources through the Philly311 Mobile App. In addition to English, information on language assistance is now available in the five most requested languages: Spanish, Korean, Russian, Chinese (Traditional) and Vietnamese. Citizens can also request information in other languages through the widget.
“Philadelphia’s population is increasing for the first time in decades, largely due to a growing international population,” said Richard Negrin, Deputy Mayor for Administration and Coordination and Managing Director. “Government is adapting accordingly. The Language Assistance Widget will help new Philadelphians connect with supporting organizations in ways they never could before.”
The Language Assistance widget provides:
- Frequently asked questions about 311 and interacting with City agencies;
- Information about language services provided by the City such as interpretation and document translation;
- Access to community resources such as the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians and the Pennsylvania Immigrant and Citizenship Coalition;
- Information about the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs;
- A language access card to display to City employees; and,
- A message from Mayor Michael A. Nutter.
Chief Innovation Officer Adel Ebeid said, “We’ve already taken steps to expand the reach of the Philly311 Mobile App by translating it into 16 languages. This new widget allows us to deliver important information to our new audiences in an easy, cost-effective way so that no one gets left behind.”
The City of Philadelphia has introduced several resources to assist immigrants and Limited English Proficient (LEP) residents. The City has a comprehensive language access program. Philly311 offers on-the-phone customer service no matter a citizen’s language. The Philly311 mobile app is also available in 16 languages, and the City’s AVI calculator is available the five most requested languages in addition to English.
Chief Customer Service Officer Rosetta Carrington Lue said, “This language assistance widget is another example of the Philly311 mobile app’s ability to serve every citizen in our diverse city. Residents of all languages should download the app to connect with city government.”
Mayor Nutter recently established the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs (MOIMA), which seeks to promote the well-being of immigrant communities by lowering access barriers to city resources and services as well as encouraging civic participation among LEP communities. Through MOIMA, the City has a Language Access Program that enables City departments and agencies to offer services in more than 120 languages. The program also includes a comprehensive planning process in which MOIMA and specific agencies develop plans to improve the quality of services provided to immigrants and LEP communities.
“We know that immigrants use smart phone technology at a high rate and I am pleased that the language access widget is now available, making important information readily accessible in the most popular languages,” said Jennifer Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs.
The Philly311 Mobile App is available for download in the iPhone, Android, or Blackberry App Stores.