Residents call on Orange County to make more services available in languages other than English
Some Orange County residents are upset that more county-related documents and services aren’t available in their native languages, and they’re calling on leaders to provide more translation.
Orange County residents spoke out about the challenges they’ve faced trying to get tenant services in Spanish at the board of county commissioners meeting on Tuesday.
Commissioner Emily Bonilla says a report that she wrote with 18 different nonprofits in the area confirms this reality.
Bonilla said there’s a real need for documents to be available in Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, and Arabic. And on-site translation services are needed too.
“And some of our services in order to be able to get the interpreter they have to wait for the next day. So that's a delay in service," said Bonilla. "Loss of pay due to taking time off from work multiple days is that sometimes, if they're coming into the office for service, they're taking that day off from work. And now they have to wait and reschedule for a time when an interpreter is there.”
Bonilla said the shortage of these services doesn’t just hurt local residents, but causes roadblocks when it comes to international business.
“Whenever I was out of the country, and I talked to them about, you know, coming to the United States, their top two is Miami and New York," said Bonilla. And I'm like, why like Orlando is so great. Why aren’t they having Orlando as their number one place to go?”
The board of county commissioners will take up the issue at a workshop in August. Watch Bonilla's full presentation of the report here.