DAI, Texas IAF Orgs Fight for Spanish Language Access to COVID-19 Info


Because of language barriers, Texas risks leaving some of the state’s marginalized communities even more vulnerable to contracting the virus while making it more difficult to access resources needed to get through the pandemic....

Claudia Cruz, whose primary language is Spanish, said Dallas Area Interfaith— a coalition of Dallas religious congregations, schools and nonprofits — has been her main source of information since the COVID-19 pandemic began because “it’s the most accessible,” Cruz said.

“Our only source of information has been through DAI and through the people in our community,” Cruz said....

A few of Cruz’s friends and neighbors told Cruz they were too scared to even get tested for the virus because they didn’t have government IDs, Cruz said. It was Cruz who first explained to them that their parish IDs — alternate identification provided by Dallas Area Interfaith congregations for immigrants and others who have difficulty getting government ID cards — was valid for testing.

That’s information officials should be communicating to their constituents, said Josephine Lopez Paul, lead organizer for Dallas Area Interfaith.

“In the same way we’re seeing the virus disproportionately affect people of color, that same gap exists for quality information,” Lopez Paul said.

[Photo Credit: Eddie Gaspar, Texas Tribune]

More Than a Third of Texans Speak a Language Other Than English. That Means Key Coronavirus Updates Aren't Accessible to Them, Texas Tribune [pdf]