Language Inclusion Index: Capacity, Access and Visibility for inclusive engagement

Activity: Talk or presentationPresentation


A digital future is inevitable for the public, private, and social sectors. Technological advances and access can encourage more users to engage for public and governance purposes, especially during COVID disruptions. However, efficient and effective digital access to services and goods depends on various factors, including their provision, users’ level of digital literacy and language preferences. It is then necessary to ensure that digital services and goods access is inclusive and equitable for culturally and linguistically diverse communities. This presentation will discuss the development of an evidence-based and purpose-built tool, the Language Inclusion Index (LI-Index), for organisations to self-assess the degree to which their clients are included or excluded by factors of language. Language inclusion is measured by:
● Capacity: Whether an organisation has the capacity to provide support to clients in a range of languages; language attitudes of the staff; whether staff feel safe to use languages other than English;
● Access: Where and how to access Plain English and translated resources;
● Visibility: Whether information is visibly displayed in Plain English and/or in Languages Other Than English (LOTE).
The LI-Index has been piloted with two public service providers, and our preliminary findings from our analyses of the websites and digital content indicate 1) the readability measure of the webpages in English requires a high level of education; 2) most sections of the organisations’ websites only have monolingual information pathways that prioritise English-medium communication; and 3) machine translation (e.g. Google Translate) is not always readily available, and the languages prioritised do not necessarily align with the languages spoken by the changing population and new and emerging communities.
The presentation will conclude by providing some overall language inclusive strategies for organisations to engage with multicultural communities, and inviting collaboration and partnership for building purposeful and inclusive digital engagement.
Period27 Oct 2022
Event title2022 DCJ Inaugural Multicultural Community Engagement Conference: Filling in the puzzle: The bigger picture of engagement
Event typeConference
LocationParramatta, AustraliaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionLocal