CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC – Last month The Lowcountry Black and Latine Coalition launched a campaign asking local governments to provide language access to information for Spanish speakers.
A spokesperson for Charleston County says that the County’s website can be translated into 108 languages including Spanish.
We reviewed the county’s website and found a Google Translate plugin on the footer, near the very bottom of the website.
The City of Charleston also has a plugin as a sticky tool on the bottom right-hand side of their site. We were not able to find any similar tool for the City of North Charleston.
On April 26, Jack O’Toole, Director of Communications for the City of Charleston, responded to our email request saying he would “be reaching out to the appropriate officials on this today.” We have yet to receive any information regarding language access.
Charleston County said they “have partnered with local Hispanic liaison’s as well as the Hispanic media for several outreach campaigns for County programs” such as ERAP. Last fall the county participated in a Health and Resource Fair co-hosted by our sister website, NuestroEstado.com, which provided volunteer translators in Spanish.
The coalition says that the plugins aren’t very accessible given that the plugins themselves are in English.
Read the full statement from Charleston County issued on May 5:
Charleston County’s website, which has information about all departments, can be translated into Spanish as well as 108 other languages. Our Consolidated 9-1-1 Dispatch Center has a language services program to assist with non-English speaking callers. Charleston County has partnered with local Hispanic liaison’s as well as the Hispanic media for several outreach campaigns for County programs like the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rural COVID-19 testing and vaccine programs. During emergencies, there is a Spanish call-taker in call center and all press conferences and pertinent social media are translated into Spanish. We were not aware of the Lowcountry Black and Latine Coalition campaign but welcome the opportunity to hear more about it in an effort to better serve all of our residents. Charleston County looks forward to continuing to work with our community partners as we expand our outreach.