11a. Memo

Language Access Order 2023 05 Extension

AGENDA MEMORANDUM                        Item No.          11a 
BRIEFING ITEM                            Date of Meeting       March 12, 2024 
DATE:     February 28, 2024 
TO:        Stephen P. Metruck, Executive Director 
FROM:    Bookda Gheisar, Senior Director, Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion 
SUBJECT:  Briefing of action items from Language Access Order 2023-05 and request for a 
multiphase extension to complete the remaining deliverables, moving the due date 
on these deliverables from February 29, 2024 to February 28, 2026 
In April 2023, the Port of Seattle Commission adopted Order 2023-05 to advance language access.
The Order directs the Port to develop a language access policy and plan to ensure the inclusion
of non or limited English speakers, including those who are hard of hearing or deaf, in the use of
Port services and facilities; and the Port wide implementation of a plan directing divisions with
public    services    to    offer    language    assistance    including    translation    and/or
interpretation. The policy makes language access a permanent, ongoing commitment by the
Port of Seattle in every department and every division. 
The Order set into motion the design and implementation of a Port-wide assessment of current
practices (including a review of publicly facing documents, resources, signage, websites, social
media sites, and forms); the development of a guidance manual for departments to create
language access plans; and a proposal for budgeting resources necessary to effectively
implement this policy. 
The Order identified nine key deliverables noted in the table below. Several of these deliverables 
have a completion due date of February 29, 2024. Five of the deliverables have been completed. 
One deliverable has been slightly modified but is also complete. Three of the deliverables will 
require further research, cohort input and analysis, and time for completion. 
Action: OEDI requests an extension of two years to complete the remaining deliverables, 
moving the due date on these deliverables from February 29, 2024, to February 28, 2026. 
1.  Guidance Manual – for department and division use. 
2.  Compensation Policy – for employees who are tasked with interpretation services outside
of their regular job duties. 
3.  Department  Annual  Language  Access  Plans  –  focusing  on  goals,  implementation, 
reporting, and budget inclusion. 

Template revised April 12, 2018.

             COMMISSION AGENDA – Briefing Item No. 11a                                 Page 2 of 5 
Meeting Date: March 12, 2024 
To understand the current state of the Port’s language access strengthens and weaknesses, a 
Port-wide  department survey was developed, distributed, and analyzed. Forty-one (41)
departments participated (including External Relations), meaning that one hundred percent of
the Port departments completed the survey. Next, a similar survey was created for local nonprofit
and community partners’  input.  This helps  us understand the current community
landscape. One hundred fifty (150)  community partners were sent the survey,  and 60
responded, reflecting a 44% participation rate. 
To take a deeper dive at the department level, a cohort of representatives from high usage
departments was formed. The cohort consists of the 18 departments noted below. The cohort
meets twice per month and has been instrumental to providing both quantitative and qualitative
data. They have also provided input to both innovative and practical solutions. 

High Usage Departments 
AV 911 Dispatch                                   AV Police Department 
AV Capital Program Management + FI              AV Public Records Request 
AV Commercial Management                   AV Security 
AV Customer Experience                         Boating, Operations + Security 
AV Environment & Sustainability                   Central Procurement Office 
AV Fire Department                              Diversity in Contracting 
Marine Maintenance                            Port Construction Services 
Ground Transportation                           Cruise Operations 
AV Facilities + Infrastructure                          External Relations 
Key Findings: 
Key findings from the department surveys and cohort sessions include the following: 
• Most departments interact or communicate with the public or with Limited English
Proficiency (LEP) individuals. 
• Aviation Customer Service and Accessibility have the most frequent engagements and
variety of interactions. 
• Formal processes surrounding language assistance services are uncommon. 
• Across all departments, trainings about language assistance services are rare. 

Template revised September 22, 2016.

             COMMISSION AGENDA – Briefing Item No. 11a                                 Page 3 of 5 
Meeting Date: March 12, 2024 
• Survey responses suggest a desire for processes, standards, and supports to be
established Port-wide. 
Key findings from the community survey include the following: 
• Interpersonal  modes  of  sharing  information,  such  as  personal  connections
and community meetings, were most preferred. 
• Information about jobs and contracting opportunities are the most important to have
available in other languages. 
• Although computer-generated translation tools are seen as useful by most, few agree
that they are accurate. 
• The need for Language Access Services varies across communities. 
• Many participants were aware of difficulties accessing Port information within their
community,  including  problems  navigating the  Port  website  and  accessing  job
Green- completed. 
Orange- modified but done. 
Yellow- need more time, asking for an extension. 

#                        Deliverable                                  Status                Timeline 
1  Language Access Assessment (Port-wide)         Completed 
OEDI shall conduct an assessment of every
department and of the most critical materials
that need translation, the need for interpreters,
and the level of training and implementation
2  Language Access Community Survey              Completed 
External Relations shall conduct a prioritized
assessment of its most critical internal and
external facing communications and determine
the level of resources needed to implement
language access in the department’s materials
and programming. 
3  Assessment of Aviation Division                    Completed 
External Relations shall also collaborate with
OEDI in assessing the Aviation Division. 

Template revised September 22, 2016.

             COMMISSION AGENDA – Briefing Item No. 11a                                 Page 4 of 5 
Meeting Date: March 12, 2024 
4  Language Access Guidance Manual                In progress – additional January (Q1)
By September 2023, OEDI and ER shall start to   time needed for org-    2026 
collaborate to develop a Language Access        wide development,
guidance manual.                               training and
5  Language Access Cohort Formation and on-       In-progress.  Language  Ongoing – 
going meetings/collaboration/learning         Access Cohort is        February (Q1)
OEDI and External Relations shall begin to        meeting and working   2026 
provide departments and divisions technical     towards this goal. 
assistance for establishing and/or updating
annual language access plans. This technical
support shall include budget planning for
departments to resource language access
strategies and implementation. 
6  Language Access Department Plans                In-progress.  Cohort is   January (Q1)
Departments and divisions shall establish and/or meeting and working   2025 
update their language access plans on an annual towards this goal.  
basis starting no later than 2025. 
7  Compensation Policy for Interpretation           In-progress, research is  December (Q4)
Per the 2022 Salary and Benefits Resolution,     being conducted.       2024 
Human Resources shall propose a policy and
compensation model for Port employees who
are tasked with interpretation services outside of
their regular job duties prior to the 2025 budget
8  Technical support and Training                     Completed and on-
The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is    going 
designated co-lead to provide technical support,
oversight, and program management duties in
fulfillment of this order. External Relations is
designated co-lead to provide technical support
for departments to execute language access plan
strategies related to the Port's external facing
operations and outreach activities in fulfillment
of this order. 
9  Commission Briefing                                  March 12, 2024 
OEDI and External Relations shall provide a
report to the Executive Director and the
Commission on lessons learned and future
considerations related to this order to establish
language access plans and tools across the Port. 

Template revised September 22, 2016.

             COMMISSION AGENDA – Briefing Item No. 11a                                 Page 5 of 5 
Meeting Date: March 12, 2024 
(1)   Order No. 2023-5 Language Access Policy and Plan 
(2)   Presentation slides 
(3)   Appendices 
(4)   Samples of work 
(5)   Language Access Assessment 

April 11, 2023 – The Commission authorized ORDER 2023-05 (item number 10b order) 

Template revised September 22, 2016.


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