New resource offers language access via Video Interpreter App for Bowling Green

Published: Feb. 5, 2020 at 10:34 PM CST
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Bowling Green City employees have had access to interpreter services over the phone for over a decade but now they have access to a video mobile app.

The new video remote interpreter mobile app allows city officials access to on-demand, one-touch trained interpreters.

"It's an added resource, that is an expanded service from the over the phone," said Leyda Becker, International Communications Liaison.

The app is available to any city employee who has been issued a mobile device, with the ability to have live, on-demand interpreters in 36 video languages including American Sign Language, which is available 24/7, as well as access to interpreters in more than 240 audio languages.

"The language diversity is very different in our community," Becker said.

According data at the beginning of the school year, the number of different languages in Warren County is increasing.

"There were at least 89 different languages that were accounted for in our student population," Becker said.

The city hopes this app will be useful to those who are not behind a desk, like police and resource officers who are constantly in communication with the public.

"As a city we're always striving to make sure that everyone in our community has access to City Government services, especially in emergency situations," Becker said.

With hard of hearing and deaf community, Bowling Green felt they didn't have full accessibility or enough resources.

"Now that the community is informed that the service is available and there is ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation 24/7 on-demand, they can feel more comfortable accessing a city service without feeling like they're not going to have someone there to provide them assistance," Becker said.

The Language Access Plan was adopted as a citywide policy in 2013 and the City International Community Liaison, Leyda Becker, is in charge of overseeing the plan and implementation. This new app has just now been introduced to the public this year.