The Town of Brookline’s Ofﬁce of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations has contracted with Language Equity & Access Partners, a partnership of Brittany Ford LLC, Sway B Access LLC & Waag Consulting LLC, to conduct a needs assessment for language access and ADA effective communications strategic planning and implementation, based on federal compliance requirements and best practices.
In November of 2021, Town Meeting voted for the Town to develop a Language Access Plan and hire a Language Access/Effective Communications Coordinator. This position would focus on the language access needs of LOTE residents, the Town’s compliance with the approved Warrant Article, and ensuring the ability for full, meaningful participation of LOTE and disabled residents in Town benefits, services, and activities. Concurrently in March 2022, Brookline’s Disparity Report was released and showed a need for further research and a more comprehensive and specific needs assessment to be conducted around Brookline residents’ language access and effective communication needs.
The primary goals of this planning and implementation project are:
- To assess the current state of language access & ADA effective communication in Brookline, MA
- To plan and facilitate internal and external stakeholder engagement processes
- To develop Language Access & ADA Effective Communication Policies, Plans & Frameworks
- To develop resources and provide support for implementation
The project launched in July of 2022 with team planning, gathering of Background Information, and Stakeholders for Language Equity & Access Partners. Two separate presentations have been scheduled to communicate the project goals and implementation plan to Department Heads, the Select Board, and the Brookline Community. The presentation to Department and Division heads is scheduled for this upcoming Thursday, September 22, 2022. The presentation to the Select Board is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, October 18, 2022. Phase Two, which includes Community Engagement, conducting a Needs Assessment, and an Organizational Assessment, is scheduled to begin in October through February 2023. Phase Three and Four will include the Designing of Organizational Plans and Department Implementation Support and is estimated to begin in March of 2023 and continue through September 2023.
Over the next several months, Language Equity & Access Partners will be conducting a needs assessment through external and internal surveys, interviews, and focus groups with the community and civic organizations, Town Department Heads and all staff, experts and advocates, and Brookline LOTE and residents with disabilities.
If you have any questions, would like to request further information, or would like to request a language or communication accommodation, please contact:
Caitlin Starr, Assistant Director in the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 617-730-2345
Sarah Kaplan, ADA Coordinator and Community Relations Specialist at email@example.com or 617-730-2329.