Multnomah County is committed to ensuring that all people, including those who speak a language other than English, have full and equal access to our programs and services. We are committed to serving immigrants and refugees who have come through so much to help us build a stronger and more vibrant community.
You can see our commitment across our departments. It's in our libraries, which build up collections in multiple languages, staff who offer free workshops, classes and tutoring for immigrant and refugee patrons. You see it in the library’s professionally-translated website, in its multi-lingual staff, many of whom came to Oregon as immigrants or refugees themselves.
You can see our commitment in culturally-specific mental health providers, sober housing for Spanish-speakers, Burmese-language addiction recovery services, and our investment in bilingual and bicultural community health workers.
You can see our commitment in clinician partnerships with interpreters to serve clients in more than 100 languages (and more than 8,600 interpreted sessions in a single month) and in our team of refugee health experts given the authority to overhaul a system that reaches well beyond our county borders.
You can see it in the development of policy, in our diverse staff and leadership, in our partnership with nonprofits, faith communities and culturally-specific media.
We hope you can see that commitment right here.
You should never have to rely on a family member or a friend to help you navigate public services. We want you always to have access to qualified and trained language service providers. We offer these services free upon request. Just ask! We contract with three agencies to provide interpretation and translation services:
We can continue to do better with help from clients, patrons, community leaders and advocates. We need to know where we’re doing a good job. But more importantly, we need to know when our services fails to meet expectations. That may be a poorly-translated form or a failure to provide meaningful interpretation. Staff at Multnomah County review every complaints and work with departments and language service providers to improve our service. Here are two ways to tell us how we’re doing:
Interpretation and Translation Feedback: This form (English-only at this time) allows us to work with staff and providers to fix problems fast
Civil Rights Complaints: the County's Civil Rights Administrator can discuss concerns and receive formal complaints regarding Multnomah county programs and staff.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits any agency receiving federal money to discriminate against people because of race, color, or national origin. This includes discrimination based on the language a person speaks. If you believe you have been excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination by any County program, please contact the County's Civil Rights Administrator to discuss your concerns and file a complaint.
You can also elect to file a complaint directly with the federal government. Complaint forms are available in the following languages: