Language Services Policy
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) is committed to adopting proactive and practical measures to ensure communication barrier will not be an obstacle to members of the public in accessing its services. Language in the context of the present policy includes written and spoken language, sign language, and other alternative mode of communication such as Braille and large prints.
- We will adopt a practical and viable approach to the production and dissemination of information regarding the law, our services and activities in English/Chinese or other languages according to need.
- We will work with competent interpreters wherever possible to facilitate communication with persons unable to adequately communicate in English/Chinese, including those with speech or hearing impairment.
- We will make maximum use of the cultural and linguistic skills of our employees in the development and implementation of our language services planning.
- We will plan for special language needs in our budgeting and program planning.
The EOC recognises that some of our service users or potential service users do not speak English/Chinese at all or well enough to communicate adequately with EOC officers. Strategies are designed and actions taken to enable our service users to access services via appropriate modes of communication in a fair and equitable manner and to ensure that our service delivery is responsive and of high quality. The EOC will establish coordinated measures, taking into account the nature of our services, the intended audience and expected attendees’ objectives, in addressing the communication difficulties of our service users in order to facilitate their equitable access to programs, services and information as far as reasonably practicable. We will:
- Assess our service users’ language or other communication needs and determine the most appropriate response.
- Provide an interpreter and/or information in the appropriate language and mode of communication as far as reasonably practicable.
- Endeavour to provide language services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate to the service user by taking into account gender and ethnic sensitivities.
- Facilitate telephone interpretation when on-site interpreting service is not available. For service users with hearing or speech impairment, we will arrange suitable mode of communication as far as reasonably practicable.