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Congresswoman Grace Meng

Representing the 6th District of New York

Meng Secures Pilot Program That Will Offer Tours in Chinese and Spanish in the U.S. Capitol

Sep 30, 2019
Press Release
Pilot program will be the first-time tours are offered in a foreign language and on a regular basis

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) announced that through her work on the House Appropriations Committee, she helped secure a pilot program that will provide tours in Chinese (Mandarin) and Spanish through translation devices that pair with assistive listening device transmitters used by U.S. Capitol Visitors Center (CVC) tour guides. This work builds upon Meng’s previous advocacy and efforts to expand language access for guided tours of the U.S. Capitol.  

“I’m thrilled to have secured a pilot program that will offer guided tours of the U.S. Capitol in Chinese and Spanish,” said Meng. “I have always fought to broaden participation and inclusion in our society, and I hope this experiment will demonstrate that there is a strong demand for guided tours in additional languages. I want to thank the staff at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center for sharing my vision to expand opportunity and inclusion of our nation’s history. We have people from across the country and world who speak languages other than English; expanding tours into additional languages will ensure their full participation.”

The pilot program will run from October 1st to 31st and be offered three times a day Monday through Saturday, twice in Mandarin and once in Spanish. The Mandarin language tours will be offered at 8:40 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., and the Spanish language tour will be offered at 12:00 p.m.

Each tour can accommodate up to 50 people with passes available on a first come, first serve basis prior to the scheduled tour times.

The U.S. Capitol Visitors Center welcomes about 2.4 million people per year. It offers brochures in thirteen languages for non-English speaking visitors to follow while listening in English during a guided tour.

The languages include: Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

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