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Language Access Policy to Lower Barriers for Community Involvement

April 18, 2023

The Port of Seattle Commission adopted a new Language Access Policy today that expands career and work opportunities at the port. The motion identifies and eliminates disparities in access to working with and for the Port of Seattle. The Language Access Policy begins the work to systematically ensure that all audiences have access to critical Port information, despite language or accessibility barriers. Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed introduced the order.

Both Title 2 and Title 6 of the Americans with Disabilities Act mandate that governmental entities like the Port of Seattle provide equal opportunity to access government services.

“This order ensures equal access under the law and will improve our customer service and communication across the Port. Thank you to all the Port staff and the public for their work and advocacy to make our facilities, programs, and services more accessible for all,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed.

The order makes language access a permanent, ongoing commitment by the Port of Seattle in every department and every division. This language access policy sets into motion an 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 divisions to create language access plans; and a proposal for budgeting resources necessary to implement this policy.

Highlights from the policy include:

  • By February 29, 2024, the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OEDI) and External Relations (ER) will report the findings of any language access assessments and the development and implementation of language access policy across the Port.
  • Departments and divisions shall establish and/or update language access plans on an annual basis starting no later than 2025.
  • Language access plans need to help the Port adopt culturally relevant language and consider the needs of people who communicate using American Sign Language.


Peter McGraw | Port of Seattle Media Officer
(206) 787-3446 |

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