The United States Department of Justice Department of Justice Seal The United States Department of Justice
Search The Site
 

Federal Coordination and Compliance Section

[Federal Register: January 16, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 10)]
[Notices]
[Page 3548-3555]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr16ja01-37]

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE


Notice of Policy Guidance on Title VI's Prohibition Against
National Origin Discrimination as it Affects Limited English Proficient
Persons

AGENCY: Corporation for National and Community Service.

[[Page 3549]]


ACTION: Notice of policy guidance.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Corporation for National and Community Service
(Corporation) is publishing policy guidance on Title VI's prohibition
against national origin discrimination as it affects limited English
proficient persons. This policy clarifies the existing responsibilities
of Corporation grantees to take reasonable steps to provide access to
their programs and activities for persons with limited English
proficiency. This document provides an opportunity for public comment.
The Corporation will review all comments and will determine what
modifications to the policy guidance, if any, are necessary.

DATES: This guidance is effective immediately. Comments must be
submitted on or before March 19, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons should submit written comments to Ms.
Wilsie Y. Minor, Associate General Counsel, Corporation for National
Service, 1201 New York Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20525. Comments may
also be submitted by facsimile at 202-565-2796.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Wilsie Y. Minor, Corporation for
National Service, 1201 New York Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20525.
Telephone 202-606-5000, ext. 129; TDD: 202-565-2799. Arrangements to
receive the policy in an alternative format may be made by contacting
Wilsie Y. Minor.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42
U.S.C. 2000d, et seq., and its implementing regulations provide that no
person shall be subjected to discrimination on the basis of race,
color, or national origin under any program or activity that receives
federal financial assistance.
The purpose of this policy guidance is to clarify the
responsibilities of recipients of federal financial assistance from the
Corporation for National and Community Service (Corporation)
(``grantees''), and assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities to
limited English proficient (LEP) persons, pursuant to Title VI of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 and implementing regulations. The policy
guidance reiterates the Corporation's longstanding position that in
order to avoid discrimination against LEP persons on the grounds of
national origin, grantees must take reasonable steps to ensure that
such persons have meaningful access to the programs, services, and
information those grantees provide, free of charge.
The text of the complete guidance document follows:

Providing Access to Limited-English Proficient (LEP) Persons to the
Programs and Activities of Grantees of the Corporation for National
Service

A. Overview

1. What Does the Document Do?

This policy guidance does not create new obligations but rather
clarifies the existing responsibilities of Corporation for National
Service (hereinafter Corporation) grantees to take reasonable steps to
provide access to their programs and activities for persons with
limited English proficiency (LEP). This document:
(a) Discusses the policies, procedures and other steps that
Corporation grantees can take to provide access by LEP persons to
national service programs and to other programs and activities of our
grantees.
(b) Clarifies that failure to take one or more of these steps does
not necessarily mean noncompliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 or with Executive Order 13166.
(c) Provides that the Corporation's Equal Opportunity (EO) Office
will determine compliance on a case-by-case basis, and that assessments
will take into account:
Number or proportion of LEP individuals in the service
area;
Frequency of contact with LEP language groups;
Nature and importance of the program or activity; and
Total resources available to the recipient.
(d) Provides that small grantees and those with limited resources
will have flexibility in achieving compliance.
(e) Applies to all beneficiaries of our grantees' programs or
activities.
In this document, ``beneficiary'' refers to:
Clients, former clients, and client applicants of a
grantee's programs or activities;
Members of the public who receive or are eligible to
receive benefits or services from our grantees; and
Participants, former participants, and participant applicants for
positions as a service member or volunteer.
Our grantees' programs or activities include:
Federally assisted programs such as AmeriCorps*State/
National;
Part-time programs such as Foster Grandparents or
participants in Learn and Serve America; and
Part federally-conducted/part federally-assisted programs
such as AmeriCorps*VISTA or AmeriCorps*NCCC.
Our grantees' programs or activities include not merely the
national service programs operated by the grantees, but in most cases
they include all operations of the organization. (See Legal
Underpinnings below for an explanation of a grantee's ``programs and
activities''.)

2. Why Do Our Grantees Need To Ensure Their Programs or Activities
Provide Services to LEP Persons?

Grantees must comply with various civil rights statutes, including
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits denial of
services to and other forms of discrimination against persons on the
basis of national origin, color, and race. Often, language identifies
national origin. Language barriers may be rooted in intentional
discrimination. Most frequently, failure to provide language assistance
to LEP persons on the basis of national origin leads to actions having
the effect of discrimination. Such actions have consistently been held
to violate Title VI. (See Legal Underpinnings below for more
information on Title VI, and on Executive Order 13166 which clarifies
Title VI in the LEP context.)
English is the predominant language of the United States. According
to the 1990 Census, English is spoken by 95% of its residents. Of the
U.S. residents who speak languages other than English at home, the 1990
Census reports that 57% above the age of four speak English ``well to
very well.'' However, the U.S. is also home to millions of national
origin minority individuals who are ``limited English proficient''
(LEP). That is, they cannot speak, read, write or understand the
English language at a level that permits them to interact effectively
with teachers and education officials, health care providers, social
service agency staff, police and emergency workers, officials of public
benefit programs, etc.
Because of these language differences and their inability to speak
or understand English, LEP persons are often excluded from programs,
experience delays or denials of services, or receive care and services
based on inaccurate or incomplete information. Federal agencies have
found that persons who lack proficiency in English frequently are
unable to obtain basic knowledge of how to access various benefits and
services for which they are eligible. Agencies have also found that LEP
persons are sometimes exploited by unscrupulous persons or unwittingly
are pawns in frauds against benefit programs.

[[Page 3550]]

3. What Is Our Policy on Ensuring Our Grantees' Programs or Activities
Provide Access to Their Services to LEP Persons?

It is our policy to ensure that our grantees fully comply with the
requirements of the various civil rights acts and requirements
applicable to federal grantees, including Title VI of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 and Executive Order 13166. One aspect of compliance is to
ensure that our grantees take reasonable steps to provide meaningful
access for LEP persons to their program or activities, including
provision of language interpretive services within the parameters set
forth in this policy document.

B. Legal Underpinnings of This Policy

1. What Are the Basic Requirements Under Title VI in the LEP Context?

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000-d)
prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national
origin in programs and activities that receive federal financial
assistance. Recipients of federal financial assistance (referred to as
``grantees'' in this policy) may not, on the basis of race, color, or
national origin:
Provide services, financial aid, or other benefits that
are different or provide them in a different manner;
Restrict an individual's enjoyment of an advantage or
privilege enjoyed by others;
Deny an individual the right to participate in federally
assisted programs; and
Defeat or substantially impair the objectives of federally
assisted programs.
A grantee whose policies, practices or procedures exclude, limit,
or have the effect of excluding or limiting, the participation of any
LEP person in a federally assisted program or activity on the basis of
national origin may be engaged in discrimination in violation of Title
VI. In order to ensure compliance with Title VI, grantees must take
reasonable steps to ensure that LEP persons who are eligible for their
programs or activities have access to the services they provide. The
most important step in meeting this obligation is for grantees to
provide the language assistance necessary to ensure such access and to
do so at no cost to the LEP person.

2. What Does Executive Order 13166 Require in the LEP Context? Does It
Impose Requirements Beyond Those of Title VI?

On August 11, 2000, the President issued Executive Order 13166
entitled ``Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited
English Proficiency.'' The purpose of this Executive Order is to
eliminate, to the maximum extent possible, limited English proficiency
as an artificial barrier to full and meaningful participation by
beneficiaries in federally assisted programs and activities. It
clarifies existing Title VI responsibilities for grantees regarding
access for LEP persons, but does not impose additional requirements. On
August 16, 2000, the Department of Justice issued policy guidance which
may be found at 65 Fed.Reg. 50123 or www.usdoj.gov/crt/cor.

3. Who Are Grantees? What Is Federal Financial Assistance?

In this document, a grantee is any entity receiving federal
financial assistance from us to operate a federally assisted program.
Grantees include, but are not limited to, the State Commissions,
AmeriCorps*VISTA and Senior Corps sponsors, State Educational Agencies,
and AmeriCorps*NCCC projects. Grantees also include other direct
recipients, service sites and intermediary service programs (entities
between the primary grantee and the service sites).
For example, the Corporation funds a grant to a state agency. The
state agency provides funding to non-profits or local governments
throughout the state. These organizations place volunteers with local
organizations. Each level is a grantee for civil rights purposes.
Federal financial assistance includes funds, property or services,
including technical assistance, provided to non-federal organizations
to promote activities serving the public interest. For civil rights
purposes, it also includes aid that enhances the ability to improve or
expand allocation of a grantee's own resources. This may be through the
services of, or training by, service members or volunteers or federal
personnel at no cost or at less than full market value. Therefore,
assignment of service members or volunteers (including VISTA or NCCC)--
whether supported, in whole or in part, under a Corporation grant or
through an Education Award Program--is a form of federal financial
assistance.
The definition of the ``program or activity'' receiving federal
financial assistance is quite broad and for most organizations extends
beyond their national service program. For example, it includes all
operations of a department, agency or district of a State or local
government; a college, university, local education agency; and an
entire corporation or private organization which is principally engaged
in providing education, health care, housing, social services, or parks
and recreation when any part of these entities receives federal
financial assistance.
A grantee may receive financial assistance directly from us or
through another grantee. A grantee may be a Native American tribe.
While tribes have sovereign immunity in many respects, when they
receive federal financial assistance, by the terms of the grant, they
agree to comply with the civil rights requirements in the operation of
their national service programs.

4. Who Are Beneficiaries? Why Are They Beneficiaries? What Rights Do
They Have?

Service members and volunteers are beneficiaries of federally
assisted programs. They receive a stipend, an allowance for living
expenses, an education award or post-service stipend, child care or
child care allowance, and/or health care coverage, or cost
reimbursements paid in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by the
Corporation. Former service members or volunteers and service member
and volunteer applicants are also beneficiaries as it relates to their
connection to a national service program funded by the Corporation.
The persons served by the service members and volunteers (including
AmeriCorps*NCCC members) are beneficiaries of federally assisted
programs. They receive benefits, be it tutoring, housing, employment,
or substance abuse counseling, immunizations, personal living
assistance, etc. which they would not have but for the national service
programs funded in whole or in part by the Corporation. Persons
previously served or applying to be served by service members and
volunteers are also beneficiaries.
The persons served, eligible to be served, or previously served by
other programs and activities of the grantee are also beneficiaries of
federally assisted programs. They receive benefits from a recipient of
federal financial assistance, so by definition they are beneficiaries.
Similarly, members of the public who receive or are eligible to receive
benefits or services from our grantees are beneficiaries.

[[Page 3551]]

All beneficiaries of federal financial assistance have the right
not to be subjected to prohibited discrimination. In the LEP context,
this means they have the right to have the grantee take reasonable
steps to provide meaningful access to its programs and activities to
enable LEP persons to participate. All beneficiaries also have the
right to file a discrimination complaint with the Corporation if he or
she believes discrimination has occurred.

5. Can We Presume That Service Members or Volunteers Must Be Proficient
in English?

No. Programs should assess whether individuals with limited English
proficiency can effectively serve in their programs with or without
language assistance. Programs may not deny access on the basis of lack
of English proficiency unless providing language assistance would
fundamentally alter the nature of their program or unreasonably burden
the organization. There may be programs where the member or volunteer
must be proficient in English, but in some of the Corporation's
programs such as Senior Companions, limited English proficiency may not
hinder the ability to serve. Individuals who speak the language of one
of the minority groups within a community, even when they are LEP, may
effectively help to serve the community.

6. If a Grantee Is Covered by a State or Local ``English-only'' Law,
Must It Still Comply With the Title VI Obligation and Corporation
Guidance Interpreting That Obligation?

Yes. State and local laws may provide additional obligations to
serve LEP individuals, but cannot compel grantees to violate Title VI.
For instance, given our constitutional structure, State or local
``English-only'' laws do not relieve an entity that receives federal
funding or other financial assistance from its responsibilities under
federal anti-discrimination laws. Entities in States and localities
with ``English-only'' laws are certainly not required to accept federal
funding--but if they do, they have to comply with Title VI, including
its prohibition against national origin discrimination by recipients of
federal assistance. Failing to make federally assisted programs and
activities accessible to individuals who are LEP will, in certain
circumstances, violate Title VI.

C. LEP Requirements

1. What Are the Basic Requirements Under Title VI for LEP Persons?

The basic requirement is to provide meaningful access for LEP
persons to a grantee's programs and activities. There is no ``one size
fits all'' solution for providing meaningful access, and our assessment
of a grantee's compliance will be made on a case-by-case basis. A
grantee will have considerable flexibility in determining precisely how
to fulfill this obligation, and we will focus on the grantee's end
result. The key to providing meaningful access is to ensure that the
grantee and the LEP person can communicate effectively. Effective
communication means the LEP person is:
Able to understand the services and benefits available;
Able to receive those benefits for which he or she is
eligible; and
Able to effectively communicate the relevant circumstances
of his or her situation to the service provider.
The type of language assistance provided depends on a variety of
factors, including:
Number or proportion of LEP individuals in the service
area;
Frequency of contact with LEP language groups;
Nature and importance of the program or activity; and

total resources available to the recipient.

2. What Are the Basic Elements of an Effective Language Assistance
Program?

Effective language assistance programs usually contain four
elements:
Assessment;
Comprehensive written policy;
Staff training; and
Monitoring.
Failure to incorporate or implement one or more elements does not
necessarily mean noncompliance with Title VI, and we will focus on
whether meaningful access is achieved. Further, if implementation of
one or more accessibility options would be so financially burdensome as
to defeat the legitimate objectives of a grantee's program, the grantee
will not be found in noncompliance with Title VI.

3. How Does a Grantee Assess the Language Needs of the Affected
Population (the First Key for Ensuring Meaningful Access to LEP
Persons)?

A grantee assesses language needs by considering a variety of
factors, including the total resources and size of the recipient/
covered entity, the number or proportion of the eligible LEP population
it serves, the nature and importance of the program or service,
including the objectives of the program, the total resources available
to the recipient/covered entity, and the frequency with which
particular languages are encountered and the frequency with which LEP
persons come into contact with the program.
Assessing the number or proportion of the eligible LEP population
may be done through review of census data, client utilization data from
client files, data from local school systems and community agencies and
organizations, or other sources. Grantees are encouraged to identify
local organizations that serve the LEP populations in their community.
Collaborations with these organizations may not only assist in
assessing language needs, but may improve outreach to and recruitment
from the communities they serve.

4. What Should Be Included in a Comprehensive Written Policy and
Procedures on Language Access (the Second Key for Ensuring Meaningful
Access to LEP Persons)?

Presuming the assessment reveals more than merely a few LEP persons
being served or eligible to be served or likely to be directly affected
by the program, a grantee should develop and implement a language
assistance policy, including implementation procedures. The policy
should be comprehensive and should be in writing. It should address
periodic staff training and monitoring the effectiveness of the
program. Ideally, a range of oral language assistance options should be
included, and it should provide for translation of vital written
materials in certain circumstances. (See D.2.)
The implementation procedures should be comprehensive, should be in
writing, and should include:
How to identify and assess the language needs of LEP
persons, and to record this information in individual client files, as
applicable;
How to notify LEP persons, in a language they can
understand, of their right to receive free language assistance;
Identify where in the program or activity language
assistance is likely to be needed;
Identify what resources are likely to be needed, their
location, and their availability;
How to access these resources to provide language
assistance in a timely manner.

[[Page 3552]]

5. How Does a Grantee Effectively Train Its Staff Regarding the Policy
and Procedures (the Third Key for Ensuring Meaningful Access to LEP
Persons)?

A grantee must disseminate its policy to all employees, especially
to those likely to have contact with LEP persons. It must also
periodically train its employees. Effective training ensures that
employees are knowledgeable and aware of LEP policies and procedures,
are trained to work effectively with in-person and telephone
interpreters, and understand the dynamics of interpretation between
clients, providers and interpreters. Training should be part of the
orientation for new employees, and all employees in client contact
positions need to receive additional training. For AmeriCorps*State/
National grantees, State Commissions request Professional Development
and Training Funds (PDAT) funds to provide professional development and
training for AmeriCorps staff. To support the LEP initiatives, funds
might be used for activities that train AmeriCorps staff about best
practices for working with LEP members, and for building the language
capacity of LEP AmeriCorps members.

6. How Does a Grantee Effectively Monitor and Evaluate Its Language
Assistance Program To Ensure It Provides Meaningful Access to LEP
Persons (the Fourth Key for Ensuring Meaningful Access to LEP Persons)?

A grantee should monitor its language assistance program at least
annually. As part of the monitoring, the grantee should seek feedback
from clients and advocates. The monitoring and evaluation should:
Assess the current LEP makeup of its service area and
frequency of contact with LEP language groups;
Assess the current communication needs of LEP applicants
and clients;
Determine whether existing assistance is meeting the needs
of such persons;
Evaluate whether staff is knowledgeable about the policy
and procedures and how to implement them; and
Determine whether sources of and arrangements for
assistance are still current and viable.

D. Specific LEP Implementation Methods, Their Pros and Cons

1. What Does a Grantee Need To Know About Providing Trained and
Competent Interpreters?

Meaningful access to programs and activities includes providing
trained and competent interpreters and other oral language assistance
services in a timely manner. This may include taking some or all of the
following steps:
Bilingual Staff--Hire bilingual staff for critical direct
client contact positions (such as emergency room intake personnel).
Bilingual staff must be trained and must demonstrate competence as
interpreters.
Staff Interpreters--Hire paid staff interpreters,
especially when there is a frequent and/or regular need for
interpreting services. These persons must be competent and readily
available.
Contract Interpreters--Use contract interpreters,
especially when there is an infrequent need for interpreting services,
when less common LEP language groups are in the service areas, or when
there is a need to supplement in-house capabilities on an as-needed
basis. Contract interpreters must be readily available and competent.
Community Volunteers--Use community volunteers. While
volunteers may be cost-effective, to use them effectively, grantees
must enter into formal arrangements for interpreting services with
community organizations so the organizations are not subjected to ad
hoc requests for assistance. Volunteers must be competent as
interpreters and understand their obligation to maintain client
confidentiality. Additional language assistance must be provided where
competent volunteers are not readily available during all hours of
service. (Note: Except in the conditions explained at the end of this
section, use of family member volunteers, especially children, is never
appropriate, and, even if a child speaks English, the parent must be
able to fully understand in order to provide informed consent for
medical services or participation in program activities.)
Telephone Interpreter Lines--Utilize a telephone
interpreter service line, as a supplemental system or when a grantee
encounters a language that it cannot otherwise accommodate. Such a
service often offers interpreting assistance in many different
languages and usually can provide the service in quick response to a
request. However, the interpreters may not be familiar with the
terminology peculiar to the particular program or service. (Note: this
should not be the only language assistance option used, except where
other language assistance options are unavailable (e.g., in a rural
clinic visited by an LEP patient who speaks a language that is not
usually encountered in the area).)
In order to provide effective services to LEP persons, a grantee
must ensure that it uses persons who are competent to provide
interpreter services. Competency does not necessarily mean formal
certification as an interpreter, though certification is helpful, but
competency requires more than self-identification as bilingual. The
competency requirement contemplates:
Demonstrated proficiency in both English and the other
language;
Orientation and training that includes the skills and
ethics of interpreting (e.g. issues of confidentiality);
Fundamental knowledge in both languages of any specialized
terms or concepts peculiar to the grantee's program or activity;
Sensitivity to the LEP person's culture; and
A demonstrated ability to accurately convey information in
both languages.
A grantee may expose itself to liability under Title VI if it
requires, suggests, or encourages an LEP person to use friends, minor
children, or family members as interpreters, as this could compromise
the effectiveness of the service. Use of such persons could result in a
breach of confidentiality or reluctance on the part of individuals to
reveal personal information critical to their situations. In a medical
setting, this reluctance could have serious, even life threatening,
consequences. In addition, family and friends usually are not competent
to act as interpreters, since they are often insufficiently proficient
in both languages, unskilled in interpretation, and unfamiliar with
specialized terminology.
If, after a grantee informs an LEP person of the right to free
interpreter services, the person declines such services and requests
the use of a family member or friend, the grantee may use the family
member or friend, if the use of such a person would not compromise the
effectiveness of services or violate the LEP person's confidentiality.
The grantee should document the offer and declination in the LEP
person's file. Even if an LEP person elects to use a family member or
friend, the grantee should suggest that a trained interpreter sit in on
the encounter to ensure accurate interpretation.

2. What Does a Grantee Need to Know About Providing Translation of
Written Materials?

An effective language assistance program may include providing
translation of certain written materials. For instance, written
materials routinely provided in English to applicants,

[[Page 3553]]

clients and the public should be available in regularly encountered
languages other than English. Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog,
and Korean are the major languages spoken by non-English speaking
persons in the U.S. It is particularly important to ensure that vital
documents are translated into the non-English language of each
regularly encountered LEP group eligible to be served or likely to be
directly affected by the grantee's program. Examples of vital documents
include:
Applications for benefits or services;
Consent forms;
Documents containing important information regarding
participation in a program (such as descriptions of eligibility for
tutoring, assignment of a Senior Companion, instructions for filing for
reimbursement of expenses, application for health care or child care
benefits);
Notices pertaining to the reduction, denial or termination
of services or benefits, or to the right to appeal such actions or that
require a response from beneficiaries;
The member contract, job description, and an explanation
of the Grievance Procedure;
Notices advising LEP persons of the availability of free
language assistance; and
Other outreach materials.
In contrast, documents prepared for a selected portion of the
public, such as laws, regulations, and detailed policy manuals, may not
be a priority for translation and perhaps only short summaries of the
contents are needed.
When making decisions about doing written translation of documents,
it is important to consider the level of literacy in the ethnic
community's first language. If a document is translated in writing for
a community with high rates of first language illiteracy, access for
LEP individuals may still be denied. Meaningful access may require
making the information available in an oral format.
It is important to ensure that the person translating the materials
is well qualified. Verbatim translations may not accurately or
appropriately convey the substance of what is contained in the written
materials. An effective way to address this potential problem is to
reach out to community-based organizations to review translated
materials to ensure that they are accurate and easily understood by LEP
persons. Recent technological advances have made it easier to store
translated documents. It is advisable to maintain a data base of
translated documents, to avoid the cost and time of repeated
translations of the same document.

3. Is Corporation Funding Available to Assist With the Cost of
Translation?

The cost of translation may be an allowable cost of a grant.
Grant funds are not available for AmeriCorps*NCCC project sponsors.

4. What Does a Grantee Need to Know About Effectively Notifying LEP
Persons of Their Right to Language Assistance and of the Availability
of Language Assistance Free of Charge?

For a language assistance program to be effective, LEP persons need
to know they have the right to receive language assistance, and that
the language assistance will be provided at no charge to them.
Effective notification methods include, but are not limited to:
Posting and maintaining signs in regularly encountered
languages other than English in waiting rooms, reception areas and
other initial points of entry. In order to be effective, these signs
must inform applicants and beneficiaries of their right to free
language assistance services and invite them to identify themselves as
persons needing such services.
Including statements about the services available and the
right to free language assistance services, in appropriate non-English
languages, in brochures, booklets, outreach and recruitment information
and other materials that are routinely disseminated to the public.
Providing this information to advocacy organizations,
faith-based organizations, and societies providing services to LEP
persons in the community.

5. What Other Innovative Methods Are There To Provide Meaningful Access
to LEP Persons?

Simultaneous Translation--This allows a grantee and client
to communicate using wireless remote headsets while a trained competent
interpreter, located in a separate room, provides simultaneous
interpreting services. The interpreter can be miles away, and thereby
reduces delays since the interpreter does not have to travel to the
grantee's facility. In addition, a grantee that operates more than one
facility can deliver interpreter services to all facilities using this
central bank of interpreters, as long as each facility is equipped with
the proper technology.
Language Banks--In several parts of the country, both
urban and rural, community organizations and providers have created
community language banks that train, hire and dispatch competent
interpreters to participating organizations, reducing the need to have
on-staff interpreters for low demand languages. These language banks
are frequently nonprofit and charge reasonable rates. This approach is
particularly appropriate where there is a scarcity of language services
or where there is a large variety of language needs.
Language Support Office--This is an office that tests and
certifies all in-house and contract interpreters, provides agency-wide
support for translation of forms, client mailings, publications and
other written materials into non-English languages, and monitors the
policies of the agency and its vendors that affect LEP persons.
Multicultural Delivery Project--This is a project that
finds interpreters for immigrants and other LEP persons. It uses
community outreach workers to work with LEP clients and can be used by
employees in solving cultural and language issues. A multicultural
advisory committee helps to keep the county in touch with community
needs.
Pamphlets--The pamphlets are intended to facilitate basic
communication between clients and staff as they await receipt of
interpreter services. They are not intended to replace interpreters but
may aid in increasing the comfort level of LEP persons as they wait for
services.

E. Compliance Monitoring

1. By What Mechanisms Does the Corporation Ensure its Grantees Comply
With These LEP Requirements?

The Corporation uses or may use a variety of mechanisms to monitor
compliance with civil rights requirements, including LEP requirements,
by its grantees. These include review of grant application submissions,
pre-award and/or post-award compliance reviews (desk audit or on-site),
discrimination complaint investigations, and information gathered
during outreach and technical assistance activities. Other federal
agencies often provide far more monetary federal assistance to its
grantees than does the Corporation. Each federal agency extending
federal financial assistance maintains mechanisms to ensure compliance
with Title VI and its implementing regulations. Compliance
determinations by larger federal agencies are given great weight by the
Corporation, and grantees receiving substantial federal financial
assistance from agencies such as the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department
of

[[Page 3554]]

Veteran's Affairs, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development should make sure to be
familiar with the Title VI enforcement mechanisms of all federal
agencies. If the Corporation receives a complaint alleging failure to
provide effective access to LEP persons, we may refer it for processing
to a larger federal agency who also funds the grantee. However, under
these circumstances, we maintain our authority to independently
determine a grantee's compliance.

2. What Can Happen to a Grantee if Its Actions Are Determined by the
Corporation's EO Office To Be Discriminatory?

The Corporation is obligated to take appropriate action regarding
any grantee that does not comply with the civil rights laws,
implementing regulations and policies. If the Equal Opportunity
Director finds that a grantee has discriminated, it is in noncompliance
with the civil rights laws. If the grantee refuses to voluntarily
correct the noncompliance, the Corporation may pursue a number of
options, including suspension, termination or the discontinuation of
aid. The ultimate sanction may be termination of all federal funding to
the program or activity.
However, the purpose of the civil rights laws is to achieve
compliance with the laws, not to terminate federal funding to programs.
Therefore, we make great efforts to encourage our grantees to
voluntarily comply with the laws.

3. What Responsibilities and Liabilities Do Primary Grantees Have When
a Subgrantee Discriminates?

A primary grantee extends federal financial assistance to
subgrantees. A primary grantee has continuing oversight
responsibilities for ensuring the operations of each of its subgrantees
comply with the civil rights laws. When reviewing grant proposals, the
primary grantee should consider whether applicants for subgrants have
identified a means for providing access to LEP persons. During the term
of the grant, the primary grantee should monitor the provision of
meaningful access in the same manner that it monitors compliance with
other grant provisions.
When a beneficiary claims a subgrantee has discriminated, the
primary grantee should take action to bring the subgrantee into
voluntary compliance, and take appropriate action when a subgrantee
does not voluntarily comply. In cases of noncompliance, appropriate
action may include but is not limited to:
Providing relief to the beneficiary;
Submitting reports of any internal investigation to our EO
Director for review;
Initiating action to terminate, suspend, or refuse to
grant federal financial assistance to the discriminatory subgrantee;
and
Notifying our EO Director of the subgrantee's noncompliant
status so our EO Office may take appropriate action, including
notifying other federal granting agencies.

4. May Our EO Director Restore Compliant Status When a Grantee Remedies
Violations?

Yes. Our EO Director may restore a grantee to compliant status if
it satisfies terms and conditions established by the Corporation, or if
it otherwise brings itself into compliance and provides reasonable
assurance of future compliance.

Examples of Promising Practices That Provide Access to LEP Persons

The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs AmeriCorps
program recruits former farmworkers to serve as AmeriCorps members.
Most members are bilingual, and many are LEP. Members are encouraged to
take English as a Second Language classes as a part of their member
development plan. The program provides pesticide safety training to
farmworkers and their families. Members conduct the training in
Spanish.
The program uses the following techniques to ensure that members
understand their terms of service and benefits:

{time} Recruiting posters, flyers and the Member Service Contract are
provided in Spanish.
{time} AmeriCorps project staff are bilingual (Spanish/English).
{time} Orientation training is provided in Spanish and English.
{time} Conference calls are held in Spanish when all members speak
Spanish.
{time} Two bilingual second-year members led a team of members that
communicated about their service projects exclusively in Spanish.
{time} Members had to be bilingual, but did not require English as the
first language.
{time} Recruitment took place at the local field office level, and
candidates were often from the farmworker community.

The Parents Making a Difference AmericCorps program recruits a
diverse corps including many bilingual members to provide outreach to
parents in low-income school communities. Members translate at parent-
teacher conferences, call parents about absent children, and organize a
wide variety of parent-oriented outreach and educational activities.
``Classroom in the Kitchen'' gives parents tips on how to support
the educational growth of their children in their homes. Diverse
language abilities and cultural knowledge is extremely important in
this regard. The range of English proficiency is varied, allowing
members to help each other, and communication about program activities
is largely bilingual.
The program provides English-Second-Language classes for LEP
AmericCorps members as part of their Member Development Plan. (This
language support is required by the Rhode Island Commission for all
AmericCorps programs, in the same vein as the GED training
requirement.)

The Temple University Center for Intergenerational Learning,
Students Helping in the Naturalization of Elders (SHINE) program. SHINE
is a national, multicultural, intergenerational service-learning
initiative in five cities. College students provide language, literacy,
and citizenship tutoring to elderly immigrants and refugees. Currently,
students serve as coaches in ESL/citizenship classes or as tutors in
community centers, temples, churches, housing developments, and ethnic
organizations.
Northeastern University, San Francisco State University, Loyola
University, Florida International University and Temple University are
involved with SHINE. Students participate through courses, work study,
and campus volunteer organizations. SHINE program coordinators partner
with local community organizations; recruit, train, place, and monitor
students at community sites; and provide support and technical
assistance.
Since 1997, more than 60 faculty from education, social work,
anthropology, political science, modern languages, sociology, English,
Latino, and Asian studies have offered SHINE as a service-learning
option in their courses. Over 1,000 students provided over 25,000 hours
of instruction to 3,500 older learners at 37 sites in Boston, San
Francisco, Chicago, Miami, and Philadelphia.

The Albuquerque Senior Companion Program (SCP), sponsored by the
City of Albuquerque, Department of Senior Affairs, serves a diverse
senior population with Native American,

[[Page 3555]]

Hispanic, and Anglo volunteers. Senior Companions assist the frail
elderly with household tasks and companionship.
Ten of its volunteer stations are located on Pueblos. Each Pueblo
has its own language. The program works closely with its site managers/
supervisors who are bilingual employees of the individual Pueblo
governments and generally are residents of the Pueblos. Senior
Companions serve on their own Pueblos and walk to the homes of their
clients.
Due to language and cultural barriers these supervisors assist with
all areas of the program. They are familiar with the population in
their individual Pueblos and use this knowledge to assist with
recruitment, placement, and training. Each Pueblo celebrates ``Days of
Feast'' separately. In order to honor individual feasts, the program
has adjusted the ``leave time'' for Pueblo volunteers. Each volunteer
is given paid leave to celebrate his or her Pueblo's feast. This is one
of the ways the program remains culturally sensitive.

ACCION International, a VISTA project sponsor, is a nonprofit that
fights poverty through microlending. ACCION Chicago did outreach to
home-based businesses that rarely have access to capital. A VISTA found
that many of the women make ends meet through programs such as Mary Kay
cosmetics. The VISTA worked with the ACCION loan officer to develop a
loan product specifically for these women and has organized bilingual
information sessions throughout Chicago neighborhoods.
Bring New Jersey Together is an AmeriCorps program in Jersey City,
New Jersey that seeks to bridge the cultural and linguistic barriers
separating new Americans from the rest of the community. AmeriCorps
members serve LEP community members by translating documents and
escorting them to places such as medical appointments, the grocery
stores, or anywhere else where a translator may be necessary. The
primary languages of the program are Spanish, Russian, and Vietnamese,
but also Albanian, Creole, Indian languages, and others depending on
the influx of refugees.
The New Jersey Commission built a partnership with the
International Institute of New Jersey, which had provided services to
the immigrant community for fifty years, to establish an AmeriCorps
program that served the needs of the community. The best practice
aspect of this example is that program was designed in partnership with
an established organization instead of starting a brand new AmeriCorps
project to address this issue.

The Honolulu Chinese Citizenship Tutorial Program is a service-
learning project site in the Champus Compact National Center for
Community Colleges ``2+4=Service on Common Ground''. The University of
Hawai'i at Monoa's College of Social Sciences collaborated with the
Kapl'olani Community College, Chaminade University, the Chinese
Community Action Coalition and Child and Family Service.
Local bilingual college students serve as tutors (during a 10-week
session) for Chinese immigrants to help them pass their citizenship
exams. The immigrants are recruits by visiting adult education classes,
through Chinese radio programs, flyers, and Chinese language
newspapers. The Chinese Community Action Coalition provides the
curriculum and resources such as Scrabble, books, word-picture matching
games, and card games for constructing simple English sentences.
The tutorial sessions focus on passing the INS exam and
conversational English. Many of the immigrants are senior citizens. The
classes are held in Chinatown. Since the project began, about 1,000
immigrants and refugees have enrolled. Over 300 students have
participated as tutors and approximately one-third of the Chinese
immigrants became citizens.

Transitional House, Santa Barbara, C.A., is a facility that
primarily serves homeless Hispanic women. The services are tailored to
meet the needs of each family to help women and their children move
from homelessness and unemployment to employment and permanent housing.
The VISTAs assigned to the project are bilingual. The clientele is 60%
monolingual Spanish speakers.
The VISTAs are creating a Career Development Curriculum that is
fully translated into Spanish and members host seminars about
immigration and consumer credit counseling services. There was a need
to improve communication with clients. One of the VISTAs developed
``halfsheets'', one side in Spanish, the other in English, that explain
the services offered by Transition House.
The VISTAs are responsible for placement of children in daycare to
enable parents to work. They accompany families to childcare providers
to assist with translation and to help make the families feel at ease
with placing their children in childcare.

Dated: January 9, 2001.
Wendy Zenker,
Chief Operating Officer, Corporation for National and Community
Service.
[FR Doc. 01-1171 Filed 1-12-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6050-28-U



COR Home  |  Grant-Related  |  Conducted  |  LEP  |  Publications  |  By Agency  |  Other Links   |  Contact   |  Index

This page was last updated on January 18, 2001

General Information Federal Coordination and Compliance
Federal Coordination and Compliance
Title VI Hotline: 1-888-TITLE-06
(1-888-848-5306) (Voice / TTY)
Leadership
Deeana Jang
Chief
Contact
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Federal Coordination and Compliance Section, NWB
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530

Stay Connected YouTube MySpace Twitter Facebook Sign Up for E-Mail Updates Subscribe to News Feeds