Language Access Policy

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City of Burlington Language Access



Making the City of Burlington accessible for everyone!  


History and Legal Basis for Language Access

Federal law protects people from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, and/or English language ability. There is strong support across all levels of government for legal access as it relates to English language, for those who need it.

In 1987, under 1 V.S.A. § 332, the State of Vermont codified the right to an interpreter when a person needs to:

            (1) transact business with any State board or agency;

            (2) participate in any State-sponsored activity, including public hearings, conferences, and public meetings;

            (3) participate in any official State legislative activities.

The City of Burlington is committed to providing language access for all Burlingtonians. In this connection, three federal mandates support this goal.

These are:  

  • Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VI
  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Title II
  • Federal Executive Order 13166 (2000)

Burlington's City Council adopted a "Resolution on Diversity and Equity Plan" on October 20, 2014. A portion of the Resolution's goal was to establish City-wide guidelines and principles to ensure that outreach and services are inclusive and reach diverse, under-represented, and under-served populations.

The City of Burlington City Council unanimously approved a Language Access Policy (LAP) on November 9th, 2020 which made these protections explicit. The LAP aims to make the City more accessible for people whose primary language is not English and those with communications-related disabilities, through timely and meaningful access to City information, programs, and services. 

Providing adequate language and other accessibility services furthers the goal of making Burlington a more equitable, inclusive and diverse City. Burlington's Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO) is responsible for implementing the City's Language Access Policy.


By the Numbers

The City of Burlington is home to a diverse mix of individuals who may need support accessing City services. Not every situation is the same and accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis. 


Data Source: U.S. Census, 2020U.S. Census 2016-2020U.S. Census 2016-2020


City/CEDO's Language and Other Accessibility Services


Our goal is to provide everyone with meaningful access to city services, opportunities, and vital documents as well as to support City departments in two areas:


1) Language Interpretation

What is language interpretation? When you listen in one language and then communicate what is said in a different language. 

For language interpretation services, including American Sign Language (ASL), as regards appointments, city meetings or events, you can contact CEDO via phone at: 802-865-7144 or email at: languageaccess@burlingtonvt.gov. It is recommended to allow at least two weeks in advance to provide this service. 


2) Language Translation

What is language translation? When you take written text and convert it into another language. A translated document reflects the meaning of the original text as much as possible. 

For language translation services, as regards vital city forms and documents, you can contact CEDO via phone at: 802-865-7144 or email at: languageaccess@burlingtonvt.gov. It is recommended to allow at least two weeks in advance to provide this service. 


Read More!

City of Burlington Language Access Policy

Language Access Letter Insert


Get Involved!

If you would like to learn more about our Language Access Policy or send us feedback, please reach out via email at languageaccess@burlingtonvt.gov or phone at 802-865-7144.