Real-time Interpretation Tools for Limited and non-English Speaking Residents


City of San José


Communications, Process Improvement, Resident Engagment, Mobile App


Budget Exists

Procurement Method:

View doc

Application Period:

December 11, 2019


February 7, 2020 3:59 PM

Q&A Period:

December 11, 2019 - January 17, 2020


The City of San José Office of Immigrant Affairs is seeking a reliable, accessible solution to improve civic participation and engagement in community meetings for our limited and non-English speaking residents.


Currently, the City needs to anticipate specific language needs for community meetings to ensure appropriate interpreters are contracted ahead of time (what languages, how many, what time, cost). It takes time to coordinate and schedule, becomes expensive, and leaves out certain groups (minority languages). Non-profit organizations may bring interpreters or residents may bring family and friends to act as interpreters. In any case, these are not reliable mechanisms to bring their voice to public forums. 
This results in: 
  • Lost opportunity for expanded community voice 
  • Loss of interest in local issues 
  • Residents feeling excluded 
If we are not actively including, we are inactively excluding. 

Requirements & Outcome

The City of San Jose Office of Immigrant Affairs seeks a solution that would have the following characteristics: 
  • Real-time interpretation functionality for priority languages (Vietnamese, Spanish) 
  • Accessible for residents (i.e., mobile device enabled) 
  • Easy for the City to manage and measure 
  • Bi-directional (residents can listen and speak)
  • Simplify access to quality interpretation mechanisms
  • Increased availability of 2-way communication mechanisms for residents who speak non-English languages 
  • Create a reliable means for residents to participate in community meetings