HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) — The Town of Hilton Head is working to make sure everyone understands the rules and can access services in the Town, no matter what language they speak.
The Town has launched on-demand interpretation services.
Through a partnership with LanguageLine Solutions, residents and other customers with limited English proficiency or who are deaf or hard of hearing will have immediate access to an interpreter when interacting with Town staff.
Interpretation is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in more than 240 languages, including American Sign Language.
“We are seeing more and more of our businesses, our contractors, who also speak Spanish as their primary language, explains Angie Stone, Assistant Town Manager. “So we want to make sure we serve everyone. the best way to make sure everyone complies and knows what they are doing is to speak in their language.”
“We are offering this service to enhance our ability to communicate with our residents and customers who speak languages other than English,” said Stone. “We want to make sure that everyone has access to the information and services we provide, and this is a big step in that direction.”
Stone said language prevents some residents from interacting with Town staff.
“Because English is not their primary language, it has been difficult for them to complete transactions like obtaining a business license or building permit or to communicate with Town staff on other topics. This interpretation service will benefit both residents and our staff as it will help us better address their needs.”
Signs featuring the most common languages are now in reception areas at Town Hall, Fire Rescue Headquarters and the Town’s Facilities Management Office.
Customers can just point to their language on the list to indicate the need for interpretation.
In addition, Town code enforcement officers, facility workers, building inspectors, first responders and others will also have access to the service if they need to communicate in a language other than English while working outside the office.
For more information about interpretation services provided at the Town, visit hiltonheadislandsc.gov or call the Town’s Communications Department at 843-341-4618 or 843-715-1393.