Language Services Policy [PDF 500KB]
People who lack English proficiency can face significant barriers when accessing government services and participating in community life. English is the national language of Australia and the language most commonly used in the ACT, however, a growing number of our community are unable to communicate in English or prefer to communicate in a language other than English.
For a growing number of Canberrans, access to interpreting and translation services and translated information is necessary to communicate effectively with government services. When providers and clients do not share the same language and culture, difficulties may arise which impact on the quality of the services clients receive.
Language services facilitate effective communication between service providers and clients to make services and programs more accessible to people, regardless of their proficiency in written or spoken English. This policy ensures that language services are offered to clients as required, at no cost to them.
The ACT Language Services Policy ensures the communication needs of culturally and linguistically diverse people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers and people who use sign language, are met. The policy also refers to the communication needs of people with multiple or complex communication needs who require adjusted methods of interpreting support, such as clients with limited to no speech and clients who are deaf and blind.
The ACT Language Services Policy acknowledges Directorates are currently providing a range of language supports and translation services to the community and their individual clients, delivering the intent of the “Many Languages” 2012-2016 ACT Government policy. The ACT Language Services Policy recognises the current provision of services and acknowledges the need to work within existing resources, while working towards further improvements and refinements in language services, to contribute to the inclusion and participation of all Canberrans.