Title VI ensures language access for individuals with limited English proficiency. Pursuant to its prohibition against discrimination based on race, color, or national origin, organizations receiving federal financial assistance are required to develop and implement policies that ensure meaningful access for limited English proficient persons to their programs and activities.
Victims of domestic and sexual violence primarily receive services through programs funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). Programs receiving federal funds – directly or indirectly, through grants, contracts or subcontracts; dispersed by federal, state, county, or city authorities – are required to develop and implement policies that ensure meaningful access for limited English proficient persons. Non-compliance complaints may be filed at DOJ, Civil Rights Division, Federal Coordination and Compliance Section.
E.O. 13166 requires federal agencies that provide federal financial assistance to issue guidances explaining the obligations of recipients to ensure meaningful access by limited English proficient (LEP) persons to their federally assisted programs.
The Guidance addresses policies on interpretation services in legal, law enforcement and quasi-judicial settings. It recommends a 4-factor analysis to take reasonable steps to compliance:
The Assistant Attorney General’s letter on August 16, 2010, provides greater clarity regarding the requirement that courts receiving federal financial assistance provide meaningful access for LEP individuals.
A chart listing each state’s statute, who gets an interpreter, if it is mandatory or discretionary, who pays, procedures for obtaining an interpreter, and other relevant information.
A study of 35 states with the highest proportion of limited English proficient people (as a percentage of population), to determine their compliance with guidelines regarding the competency of interpreters; and the provision of interpreters in all civil cases free of charge.
A clearinghouse, providing information, tools, and technical assistance regarding limited English proficiency and language services for federal agencies, recipients of federal funds, users of federal programs and federally assisted programs.
Persons depicted are models and are used for illustrative purposes only.
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