New Language Access Resource For States
Mar 05, 2008
All agencies that receive federal funds are required to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to take reasonable steps to provide limited English proficient (LEP) individuals with meaningful access to their programs, activities, and services. This includes most agencies that administer child care and early education programs, including school districts, state government agencies, and Head Start programs. Yet, inadequate language access remains a significant barrier to accessing programs for many families with young children.
Ensuring language access may include the use of competent interpreters, hiring of bilingual staff, translation of materials, and the use of telephone language line services. Agencies may conduct assessments to review their language access policies and to create plans for improving service delivery to LEP individuals.
The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) has created a language access portal, which is a digital library of hundreds of resources for state and local social service agencies. The portal includes federal and state laws and guidelines, service models, and related research on language access and LEP populations. It also includes information on policies such as bilingual pay differentials, contracting for translation services, and best practices for interpreters. Finally, the portal includes a searchable database of state and local documents that can be used to find examples of translated materials and applications, policy guidance, and other resources. The database is searchable by state, service area, and languages.