AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin’s non-emergency information hotline is working to be more accessible to residents who don’t speak English.
According to a new memo to the city council, effective beginning last month, all Austin 311 social media posts and videos are in English and Spanish, and the service is working to have live chat options available in multiple languages by the end of this year.
Right now, more than 15% of Austin 311 staff members are bilingual in English and Spanish, according to the memo, and ambassadors have access to translation services in more than 200 languages.
The memo said Austin 311 also regularly conducts bilingual (English/Spanish) outreach in person and online.
The service is also working to upgrade software services — like its app, Citizen Web Portal and Customer Service Request ticketing system — to allow future Spanish-language mobile app and web portal development. The software upgrades are scheduled to be done by the end of the year.
Austin 311 is also working on long-term solutions to improve system technology.
This was all in response to a resolution in November, asking for ways to expand the service.