The mission statement of the Connecticut Department of Public Health, which can be found on their website, is as follows:
To protect and improve the health and safety of the people of Connecticut by:
– Assuring the conditions in which people can be healthy;
– Preventing disease, injury, and disability, and
– Promoting the EQUAL enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, which is a human right and a priority of the state.
As part of their mission to provide a certain standard of care to all Connecticut residents, the Connecticut Department of Public Health provides printable “I Speak” cards on their website in 18 languages. All of the languages included are included in the top 20 most spoken languages in Connecticut.
HOWEVER, the Connecticut Department of Public Health leaves out 7 of the languages which are within the list of top 20 languages spoken in Connecticut. 5 of these 7 languages are Asian languages. The missing languages are:
German (7th most spoken language in CT and spoken by 11,535 people)
Hindi (8th most spoken language in CT and spoken by 11, 430 people)
Tagalog (12th most spoken language in CT and spoken by 8,539 people)
Korean (15th most spoken language in CT and spoken by 6,456 people)
Urdu (16th most spoken language in CT and spoken by 6,282 people)
Telegug (18th most spoken language in CT and spoken by 5,575 people)
Kru/Ibo/Yoruba (19th most spoken language family in CT and spoken by 5,165 people)
Between 15% and 53% of the speakers of these languages speak English “less than very well.” Thus, they too would benefit greatly from “I Speak” cards.
Besides leaving out 7 of the top 20 most spoken languages in CT, there are many more languages spoken in CT that are not included and thus many people who are not represented. Smaller populations are sometimes hidden, but they do exist. Small communities are no less deserving of access to resources than larger populations.
By Rachel Legg