City of Fishers aims to be more inclusive with new translation service

fishers language tool.jpg
Posted at 8:06 AM, Nov 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-06 08:06:57-05

FISHERS — INDIANAPOLIS — The City of Fishers is bridging the communication gap with its residents.

The city launched a new language interpretation service, to meet a demand from its growing diverse population.

Fishers partnered with Propio Language Services to provide multi-lingual customer service to its more than 100,000 residents.

It's available in over 350 languages.

Propio offers Video Remote and Over-the-Phone Interpreting Services, as well as document translation.

Mayor Scott Fadness says this is the city’s latest effort to be more inclusive.

“Fishers is becoming a global city. We have to be able to adapt, using technology to be able to provide that service," Fadness said.

The technology is available for things like public safety, health department, city court and more.

During business hours, visitors and callers to the City Services Building can use these services in two ways:

  • a kiosk for video translation services in over 350 languages, including American Sign Language (ASL)
  • by calling the City of Fishers customer service line at 317-595-3111 and requesting translation services via phone or video chat.

“We have to respond to a 911 call, even down to our costumer service desk at City Hall, we have to be able to answer questions in a timely fashion for whatever resident might walk through the door," he said.
Fishers resident Cecilia Coble knows what it’s like to grow up in a home where two languages were spoken.

Her parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico and spoke both Spanish and English.

She says this tool will be a great resource for families like hers.

“For someone that doesn’t speak English, to be able to feel like okay I’m able to get through and get my needs met, my questions met, it’s just incredible," Coble said.

Coble is a co-chair of the Advisory Committee on Disability and City Councillor at-large.

She encourages other cities in Central Indiana and beyond to follow their lead.

“ It’s important to me that people have access to government and be able to communicate their needs," she said.

The city says its most popular languages are Spanish, Haitian Creole, Arabic, Russian and American Sign Language.