Strategy #1

Make services available to New Yorkers of all capabilities and language preferences.

All residents need dignified access to City services, whatever their abilities or language preferences. Services should meet or exceed accessibility standards, should be offered in multiple languages, and should not feel burdensome to use.

Here’s how to Make Services Accessible

Translate the most heavily trafficked web pages into the languages most commonly used by the populations you serve with the most accurate translation technique: human translation.

Endorse 74

Enable machine translation tools, even if they are less than 100% accurate, on existing websites. Machine translation tools must be installed before new sites go live.

Endorse 21

Use human translation to pre-write emergency messaging in the languages most commonly used by the population your agency serves. In an emergency, immediately deploy automated machine translation tools, then update with more accurate human translation as necessary.

Endorse 20

Design translation solutions to be flexible and responsive to evolving needs and technologies. Plan, so that in the future, new and better tools can replace any tool you choose today.

Endorse 17

Make it easy to navigate between languages on City websites.

Endorse 16

Promote third-party visual translation tools on signs and other physical objects.

Endorse 18

Ensure that you understand and adhere to accessibility guidelines and strive to implement best practices.

Endorse 21

Regularly review translation tools and aim to use technologies that are best-in-class. Prioritize open standards where possible, to ensure interoperability and prevent dependency on a single vendor.

Endorse 39

Create an Interpretation Translation Unit to develop digital translation guidelines, provide support for human translation, and ensure compliance with Executive Order 120 (2008) and Local Law 73 (2003) regarding language requirements.

Endorse 16

Hire a Director of Digital Accessibility to oversee compliance with Local Law 26 (2016) to establish and enforce digital accessibility standards, and ensure best-in-class solutions.

Endorse 25

Create a pool of users that agencies may call on to test and improve accessibility standards.

Endorse 26

Create and train City content creators in accessibility guidelines, best practices, and tools for accessibility review.

Endorse 23

Expand the Notify NYC SMS (text messaging) service to provide human translated messages in six priority languages.

Endorse 22

Tell Us Your Idea

We encourage you to submit feedback and tell us what you think as we continue to refine the playbook and share best practices.

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