Language access and rights

Learn about how the City meets the needs of San Franciscans with limited English skills.

San Francisco is committed to providing residents with fair access to City services. This includes residents with limited English skills.

San Francisco's Language Access Ordinance (LAO) ensures the City provides fair language access. It is the strongest local language law in the nation. 

The LAO makes sure that:

  • All City departments that serve the public provide fair language access
  • Residents have a way to report departments that don't follow the law
  • Departments can self-report that they are following the law

The Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA) oversees LAO compliance. Our goal is to better serve San Francisco residents with limited English.

Documents

Language Access Ordinance

Read the full Language Access Ordinance (LAO).

Compliance reports

The annual Language Access Compliance Summary Report evaluates City departments’ compliance and progress with the City’s Language Access Ordinance (LAO). This year’s report covers Fiscal Year 2019-2020 (from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020).

This year’s report covers Fiscal Year 2018-2019 (from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019).

This year's report covers Fiscal Year 2017-2018 (from July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018).

For past reports, visit our Compliance Report Archives.

Data

Annual Language Access Ordinance compliance reports dashboard

See data totals from each reporting departments' annual compliance report. We collect LAO data through methods determined by the department's LAO liaison. Data is reported to OCEIA for an annual analysis.

San Francisco language diversity data

OCEIA has created the following maps and charts using United States Census Bureau data about what languages people speak at home. By understanding the City's diverse language needs, we can better communicate with the populations we serve.