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Language Access

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Language assistance services are available free of charge for Town services.  If you need assistance or have questions, please contact us at 919-968-2756.

How to translate the Town of Chapel Hill's website:

If you use Google Chrome as your web browser: You can change the language Chrome uses and have Chrome translate for you. See what languages are available at Google Translate.

Request an interpreter:

  • We will provide interpreters, free of charge, for Town services and programs.
  • You can request an interpreter at 919-968-2756
  • When possible, please make requests at least 48 hours in advance to help us make arrangements.


On November 13, 2019, the Chapel Hill Town Council unanimously approved a Language Access Plan for Town services and programs. This Plan will help ensure the Town moves towards policies and procedures supporting the right of all residents to communicate with the Town in the language in which they prefer. Read more below.

Learn about the Town's language access efforts

Burmese:  Burmese LAP 

EnglishEnglish LAP

KarenKaren LAP

Mandarin ChineseChinese LAP

SpanishSpanish LAP


What is language access?

LAP Cover v1 (9)

Language access allows community members with limited English proficiency (LEP) - defined as having limited ability to speak, understand, read, or write in English - to use and benefit from a wide range of services. 

Did you know that among Chapel Hill residents, 20% of residents speak a language other than English at home and 6% of residents are identified as LEP?  Advancing language access in Chapel Hill will support many of our residents. 

Why does Chapel Hill need language access? 

The Town serves community members in a variety of ways that are important to day-to-day life. Communications that are accessible to the whole community will help Chapel Hill be more inclusive and welcoming to all. 

In recent years, the Town has become increasingly aware of the communication gap with residents who speak languages other than English. In 2018, as part of the Building Integrated Communities (BIC) Project, Chapel Hill's immigrant and refugee residents identified language access as a key strategy for the Town to advance to better serve the community.

Language Access Plan

Since then, the Town, in collaboration with community partners, developed the BIC Action Plan which includes an objective focused on advancing language access across the Town.

What is a Language Access Plan (LAP)?

Since the Town receives funding from the Federal government, we are required by Federal law to plan for and provide LEP individuals with meaningful access to services, programs, and activities. A Language Access Plan outlines policies and procedures to ensure meaningful access. 

This Plan will help ensure the Town moves towards policies and procedures supporting the right of all residents to communicate with the Town in the language in which they prefer. 

What else is the Town doing to advance language access?

  • Purchased interpretation equipment for Town and community use. Community members can borrow the equipment at no charge. Learn how here!
  • Provided interpretation services for a variety of public meetings, such as Council, Public Information, and community engagement meetings.
  • In the process of creating multilingual emergency preparedness videos
  • Continuing to work with community partners to address language access needs.

 180125_Council_Meeting_interpreter_01 (1)     Emergency Messages      PIM Interpretation Equipment

 Commonly used words and definitions for language access:

  • Interpretation: The process of adapting oral messages from one language to another.  Often used for meetings.
  • Translation: The process of adapting written text from one language to another. Often used for converting text in documents.
  • Limited English Proficiency (LEP): Describes individuals with limited ability to communicate (e.g. speak, read, write, or understand) effectively in English.
  • Language Justice: The right for all people to communicate in the language they prefer.
  • Meaningful Access: Ability to use resources without significant restriction from language barriers.


To learn more about the Town’s language access efforts, contact Megan Peters, Community Connections Coordinator, at or 919-968-2756.


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