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Striving for accessibility

July 30, 2012

By Jack Harrison, Task Force Policy Analyst

Access has long been a crucial concept for progressive movements, whether used in reference to institutions and services like health care or to the physical movement allowed for by ramps and curb cuts. At the Task Force Policy Institute, we’ve been thinking a lot about access lately, and as a think tank, this plays out primarily in regards to access to information.

We recently released the latest in our series of racial justice-focused trans publications, “Injustice at Every Turn: A Look at Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander Respondents in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey.” The piece was developed in conjunction with the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), and one of the biggest successes about its launch was the number and range of languages we were able to release it in.

Thanks to a team of LGBT and allied translators, we were able to publish this most recent piece in English as well as Chinese (Traditional), Hindi, Korean, Tagalog, Tamil, and Vietnamese. This means that the document will be accessible to many Americans who are either monolingual in a language other than English or are most comfortable reading in another language despite some level of English proficiency. I’m also thrilled that this multi-lingual document will be uniquely accessible to and hopefully therefore useful to activists across Asia and the Pacific, despite the topical focus on the U.S.

Moving forward, we will continue to think about the barriers that might keep people from accessing our research. For example, in the autumn, we are planning a presentation of the overall National Transgender Discrimination Survey findings in sign language, working alongside Gallaudet students and deaf and hard of hearing community members here in D.C. Additionally, our National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change works with the Disability Justice Collective to make our conferences welcoming and accessible to all people.

As a community-based researcher it is my intention to be accountable to our entire community, not just to other academics, and as our movements progress, if there are people out there who need certain adaptations to access our information, I hope you won’t hesitate to ask at jharrison@thetaskforce.org.

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