Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Public Administration and Nonprofit Management, M.P.A.


Ceesay, Atta A

First Reader

Ceesay, Atta A

Second Reader

Rivera, Jason D


Over the course of the last decade, the United States of America has resettled many refugees from different parts of the world as part of its yearly refugee intake; upon settling to United States, refugees face challenges as they adjust to their new communities and new environments. The impacts of language barriers and health disparities among immigrant groups and refugees in the country have become increasingly unquestionable and clear. Due to inability to speak and communicate in English, current refugees in the U.S are facing problems when accessing healthcare facilities. The U.S. government and healthcare providers are trying hard to narrow and eliminate this problem but due lack of effective strategies these challenges remain poorly understood. However, this paper will focus on one such group of refugees: Somalis who live in Buffalo. It will view them from a variety of perspectives. It will also investigate how the language barrier stops those trying to access healthcare in the community.

This project involves investigating how language barriers can adversely affect quality of health care; this research has been done by examining participants’ experiences and perceptions towards accessing healthcare facilities. The instrument used in this study consists of face to face and semi-structured interview. The researcher collected numerical data by using quantitative and qualitative methods. Upon investigation of the research questions, it becomes clear that there is a huge language gap between the healthcare providers and Somali patients. The results collected shows that language and cultural issue are the biggest challenges Somalis face in Buffalo. Finally, this research highlights the importance of providing adequate information, guidance and cultural awareness to the Somali community in Buffalo