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The City of Portland, Oregon

Office of Equity and Human Rights

Realizing Equity. Enhancing the City of Portland.

Phone: 503-823-4433

Fax: 503-823-4420

421 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 500, Portland, OR 97204

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Meaningful Access Statements for City Bureaus

Meaningful Access Statement and Guidance

The meaningful access statement ensures the public is notified of their civil right to request access to city government programs, services, activities, and communications. It informs the public on how to make requests for access and lists appropriate and direct contact information for the public to use for placing the requests. The meaningful access statement provides City of Portland staff with minimum guidelines for providing inclusive and equitable engagement, and removing barriers to access.

Purpose 

It is the policy of the City of Portland that all city-sponsored programs, services, activities, events, and communications are meaningfully accessible and usable in accordance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other related civil rights laws and statues. This includes being physically and programmatically accessible for people with disabilities and providing language access for people with limited English proficiency.

Therefore, city bureaus, offices, commissions, advisory committees, councils, and any other public-facing body must ensure that their public programs, services, activities, events, and communications are accessible. Accessibility includes: providing language services, removing barriers, providing modifications, accommodations, alternative formats, auxiliary aids, or other services that ensure access upon request. In addition, it is the responsibility of city bureaus, offices, and entities providing public city-sponsored services or activities, to notify the public and take the necessary steps to ensure that meaningful access language is included on all formats where information is reaching the public, such as: notices, communications and other City information. It is essential that appropriate contact information for responding to such requests is included in the language.

Failing to use the meaningful access statement creates barriers to access for the public and poses a risk to City civil rights compliance.

Usage

The statement should be included in (but not limited to):  most points of written public contact, interface, communications, websites, brochures, informational material, flyers, posters, signage, email signature lines, press releases, guides, plans, policy, forms, bills, tickets, surveys, etc.  

Each bureau and office should consider the most appropriate path of communication for its program, service, activity, or communication, when deciding what number to list on the meaningful access statement. Each bureau is responsible for listing the phone number of the staff contact designated to answer the phone calls for the specific program, service, or activity, or based on the operational structure of the office. If space allows, bureaus or programs should consider including a contact email address and/or names as part of the contact information listed, in addition to the staff contact phone number.

Any staff answering the line should be trained on how to take, refer, or fulfill requests for access. Since the City of Portland does not have centralized services for such requests, bureaus should ensure staff are trained in order to comply with their responsibility to reasonably provide access within their portfolio of public work.

The following provides city staff with the recommended statement versions and example usage for each version of the statement.  The translation and interpretation add-on has restrictions on its use and should not be used on its own. The decision of which version of the meaningful access statement to use, is up to the discretion of each bureau and will depend on context, content, and formatting.

Meaningful access statement three versions:

Long version:

It is the policy of the City of Portland that no person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in any city program, service, or activity on the grounds of race, color, national origin, disability, or other protected class status. Adhering to Civil Rights Title VI and ADA Title II civil rights laws, the City of Portland ensures meaningful access to city programs, services, and activities by reasonably providing: translation and interpretation, modifications, accommodations, alternative formats, and auxiliary aids and services.  To request these services, contact 503-XXX-XXXX, City TTY 503-823-6868, Relay Service: 711.

Examples: This version may be included on reports, plans, guides, longer documents with unlimited space, and may be appropriate for some email signatures.

Short version:

The City of Portland ensures meaningful access to city programs, services, and activities to comply with Civil Rights Title VI and ADA Title II laws and reasonably provides: translation, interpretation, modifications, accommodations, alternative formats, auxiliary aids and services. To request these services, contact 503-XXX-XXXX, City TTY 503-823-6868, Relay Service: 711.

Examples: This version may be included on maps, fliers, brochures, bills, tickets, and other documents where there is a conservative amount of space, and may be appropriate for standard email signatures.

Limited space version:

The City of Portland is committed to providing meaningful access. To request translation, interpretation, modifications, accommodations, or other auxiliary aids or services, contact 503-XXX-XXXX, Relay: 711.

Examples: This version may be included on postcards, leaflets, fliers with limited space, and other documents where space for text is very limited.

“Translation and Interpretation” Add-on:

Translation and Interpretation:

Use: When there is limited space on the document, use the meaningful access statement in English, followed by the translated “translation and interpretation” add-on. For example, use the short or long version of the meaningful access statement in English, then include the translation and interpretation add-on translated into the City of Portland language list languages.

Important note: The translation and interpretation add-on cannot be used alone.

Example of limited space version with translation and interpretation add-on in Spanish:

The City of Portland is committed to providing meaningful access. To request translation, interpretation, modifications, accommodations, or other auxiliary aids or services, contact 503-XXX-XXXX, Relay: 711.

Traducción e interpretación: 503-XXX-XXXX.

Statement of suggested timeframe for request:

It is reasonable for local government to request advanced notice to ensure availability; however, city bureaus have an obligation to make a good faith effort to procure and provide the requested services, even if they received the request at a later date/time. City staff may request, but cannot require, a specific amount of time to fulfill meaningful access requests. The following is the recommended language to insert when requesting a specific timeframe at the end of the meaningful access statement:

For general statements, such as in an email signature or overall general usage:

  • Five (5) business days is preferred.
  • To better serve you, five (5) business days is preferred. 
  • Providing 72 hours’ advanced notice is preferred. 
  • Providing 72 hours’ advanced notice will help to ensure availability. 

If using for a scheduled or planned event, activity, or meeting, add either of these options at the end:

  • Five (5) business days prior to the event, is preferred.
  • To better serve you, five (5) business days prior to the event, is preferred.
  • Providing 72 hours’ notice prior to the event will help to ensure availability. 

*We are in the process of having the different Meaningful Access Statements translated into other languages and will provide copies for bureau use.  Thank you for your patience.