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Federal Coordination and Compliance Section

[Federal Register: January 22, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 14)]
[Notices]
[Page 6733-6747]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr22ja01-233]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Office of the Secretary

[Docket OST-2001-8696]


DOT Guidance to Recipients on Special Language Services to
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Beneficiaries

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, DOT.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The United States Department of Transportation is publishing
policy guidance on Title VI's prohibition against national origin
discrimination as it affects limited English proficient persons.

DATES: This guidance is effective immediately. Comments must be
submitted on or before March 23, 2001. DOT will review all comments and
will determine what modifications to the policy guidance, if any, are
necessary

ADDRESSES: Interested persons should submit written comments to Marc
Brenman, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Civil Rights, Department of
Transportation, 400 7th St. SW., Washington, DC 20590, or
marc.brenman@ost.dot.gov; comments may also be submitted by facsimile
at 202-366-9371.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marc Brenman, Office of Civil Rights,
400 7th St. SW., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone 202-366-1119; e-mail
marc.brenman@ost.dot.gov; or David Tochen, Office of the General
Counsel, 400 7th St. SW., Washington, DC 20590, 202-366-9153, e-mail
david.tochen@ost.dot.gov. Arrangements to receive the policy in an
alternative format may be made by contacting the named individuals.

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
U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) (``recipients''), 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 DOT's
longstanding position that in order to avoid discrimination against LEP
persons on the grounds of national origin, recipients must take
reasonable steps to ensure that such persons have meaningful access to
the programs, services, and information those recipients provide, free
of charge.
The policy guidance includes an appendix. Appendix A summarizes
DOT's Title VI regulations, as they apply to LEP persons.

Dated: January 16, 2001.
Ronald A. Stroman,
Director, Departmental Office of Civil Rights, Department of
Transportation.

DOT Guidance to Recipients on Special Language Services to Limited
English Proficient (LEP) Beneficiaries

I. Background

On August 11, 2000, President Clinton signed Executive Order 13166,
entitled ``Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited
English Proficiency.'' 65 FR 50121 (September 16, 2000). On the same
day, the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights issued a Policy
Guidance Document titled ``Enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964--National Origin Discrimination Against Persons With
Limited English Proficiency'' (hereinafter referred to as ``DOJ LEP
Guidance''), reprinted at 65 FR 50123 (September 16, 2000).
Executive Order 13166 requires Federal departments and agencies
extending financial assistance to develop and make available guidance
on how recipients should, consistent with the DOJ LEP Guidance and
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, assess and
address the needs of otherwise eligible limited English proficient
persons seeking access to the programs and activities of recipients of
federal financial assistance. The DOJ LEP Guidance, in turn, provides
general guidance on how recipients can ensure compliance with their
Title VI obligation to ``take reasonable steps to ensure `meaningful'
access to the information and services they provide.'' DOJ LEP
Guidance, 65 FR at 50124. The DOJ LEP Guidance goes on to provide,

[w]hat constitutes reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access will
be contingent on a number of factors. Among the factors to be
considered are the number or proportion of LEP persons in the
eligible service population, the frequency with which LEP
individuals come in contact with the program, the importance of the
service provided by the program, and the resources available to the
recipient.

Id. The DOJ LEP Guidance explains that the identification of
``reasonable steps'' to provide oral and written services in languages
other than English is to be determined on a case-by-case basis through
a balancing of all four factors.
The failure to assure that people who are not proficient in English
can effectively participate in, and have meaningful access to, a
Department of Transportation (DOT) financial assistance recipient's
programs and activities may constitute national origin discrimination
prohibited by Title VI and implementing regulations. Supreme Court
precedent, and longstanding congressional provisions and federal agency
regulations have repeatedly instructed that a nexus exists between
language and national origin. As used throughout this Guidance, ``DOT''
is intended to include all the Department's operating administrations,
components, and Secretarial offices.
This LEP Guidance addresses the key elements that DOT encourages
its recipients to consider to ensure meaningful access to programs and
activities by all people regardless of race or national origin. The
purpose of the Guidance is to assist recipients in complying with their
Title VI responsibilities to ensure that access to their programs or
activities, normally provided in English, are accessible to LEP
persons. The Guidance is consistent with the requirements of Executive
Order 13166 and with the DOJ LEP Guidance.
During the development of this Guidance, DOT has ensured that
stakeholders, such as LEP persons, their

[[Page 6734]]

representative organizations, recipients, and other appropriate
individuals and entities have had an adequate opportunity to provide
input. Additional input is welcome.
Large numbers of minorities in the United States are linguistically
isolated. According to the 1990 U.S. Census, 31.8 million persons or
13% of the total U.S. population (ages 5 and above) speak a language
other than English at home. Almost 2 million people do not speak
English at all and 4.8 million people do not speak English well. The
1990 U.S. Census also found that various minority populations and
subgroups are linguistically isolated: Approximately 4 million
Hispanics; approximately 1.6 million Asians and Pacific Islanders;
approximately 282,000 Blacks; and approximately 77,000 Native Americans
and Alaska Natives. Of those who speak Spanish in the United States,
97% are Hispanic. Research indicates that the correlation between
language and national origin is also very high. As of 1989, 72.5% of
Chinese Americans speak a language other than English at home.
Comparable figures for other Asian Pacific Islander groups exist for
Cambodians (81.9%), Vietnamese (80.7%), Laotians (77.4%), Thai (72.5%),
Koreans (69.7%), Filipinos (59.9%), Indians (55.3%), and Japanese
(40.5%).
School districts in many parts of the country are experiencing a
substantial increase in the enrollment of national-origin-minority
students who cannot speak, read, or write English well enough to
participate meaningfully in educational programs without appropriate
support services. There are approximately 3.5 million LEP students in
the United States. The number of LEP students enrolled in public and
nonpublic schools in the United States continues to increase each year.
Between 1990 and 1997, the number of LEP students has risen by 57%.
Most LEP students have parents whose skills in English are less than
that of the students. The reported number of LEP students in K-12
public schools comprises 8% of the total public school enrollment in
the United States. All states enroll LEP students. The states with the
largest reported number of LEP students are California (1,381,383),
Texas (513,634), and Florida (288,603). The states with the largest
reported percentage of LEP students are Alaska (26%), New Mexico (24%),
and California (22%). Since many public transportation providers also
transport students to and from school, these figures are important.
In regard to one state alone, Pennsylvania ranks tenth among all
states in the numbers of foreign-born persons who reside within its
borders. Many of these individuals come to the United States with
limited English skills, and are at varying stages of learning the
English language. In all, more than seven percent of Pennsylvania's
residents speak a primary language other than English. It is estimated
that Philadelphia alone is home to approximately 30,000 Vietnamese,
25,000 ethnic Chinese, 10,000 Cambodians, and 7,000 Laotians. According
to the 1990 Census, approximately 54% of persons in Pennsylvania whose
home language is an Asian language do not speak English very well.
Many welfare recipients wrestle with poor job skills, health
problems, and lack of transportation, in addition to language barriers.
Besides the social, cultural and linguistic barriers, which affect the
delivery of adequate transportation services, there are other factors
that contribute to the poor social service status of LEP persons. These
factors include the following:
Inadequate number of health care providers and other
health care professionals skilled in culturally competent and
linguistically appropriate delivery of services.
Scarcity of trained interpreters at the community level.
Deficiency of knowledge about appropriate mechanisms to
address language barriers in transportation settings.
Absence of effective partnerships between major mainstream
provider organizations and LEP minority communities.
Low economic status.
Lack of insurance.
Organizational barriers.
One recipient reported to DOT as follows, regarding the barriers
people who are LEP face in transportation:

Language barriers prohibit people who are LEP from obtaining
services and information relating to transportation services and
programs. Because people who are LEP are not able to read
instructions or correspondence written in English and may not
understand verbal information, they often are not aware of
regulatory requirements and legal implications of the services they
seek. People who are LEP also do not have the ability to read
variable message signs which alert them to dangerous driving
conditions. When people who are LEP receive Orders or other legal
documents, they often do not understand the contents of the
correspondence and its implication to their daily lives. People who
are LEP may not be able to take advantage of the transit system,
which could affect their job and social opportunities. When their
home or business property is acquired by the State DOT, they may not
be aware of or understand the benefits to which they are entitled.
When individuals do not understand or read English, they are
hampered in seeking employment opportunities.

It is essential that transportation providers, professionals, and
other DOT recipients become informed about their diverse clientele from
a linguistic, cultural and social perspective. These individuals should
become culturally competent so they can encourage vulnerable LEP
minority populations to access and receive appropriate transportation
services with more knowledge and confidence.

Advantages to Recipients Other Than Providing Beneficiary Access to
Special Language (Spillover Benefits)

Helping Prevent Complaints: DOT receives complaints from
beneficiaries alleging that insufficient information has been provided
by recipients to beneficiaries in the primary or home language of the
beneficiaries. For example, in the current (as of the date of this
guidance) Title VI administrative complaint, West Harlem Environmental
Action v. New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New York
City Transit, the complainants seek as a part of their requested
relief, ``Translating all notices about impending depot and bus parking
lot developments into Spanish.'' Providing such services before
complaints are filed may help forestall such complaints and create
better relations with beneficiary groups.
Economic Benefits: Translations of public transportation service
documents may assist tourists and help establish localities as
thoughtful and appropriate sites for global trade and investment.

II. Definitions

Limited-English-Proficient Persons: Individuals with a primary or
home language other than English who must, due to limited fluency in
English, communicate in that primary or home language if the
individuals are to have an equal opportunity to participate effectively
in or benefit from any aid, service or benefit provided by the
transportation provider or other DOT recipient.
Linguistically Isolated: This term is defined in the Census as the
percentage of the persons in households in which no one over the age of
14 speaks English well, and is used as a direct measure of those
persons with a severe language barrier, as distinct from those of
foreign origin who speak English well. Those who are linguistically
isolated may also be unable to benefit from transportation services and
the services of other DOT

[[Page 6735]]

recipients, and therefore should receive attention from recipients as a
high priority.
Federal financial assistance: The term Federal financial assistance
to which Title VI applies includes but is not limited to grants and
loans of Federal funds, grants or donations of Federal property,
details of Federal personnel, or any agreement, arrangement or other
contract which has as one of its purposes the provision of assistance.
Qualified interpreter: Qualified interpreter means an interpreter
who is able to interpret effectively, accurately, and impartially,
either for individuals with disabilities or for individuals with
limited English skills. The interpreter should be able to interpret
both receptively and expressively, using any necessary specialized
vocabulary.
Non-English language relay service: A telecommunications relay
service that allows persons with hearing or speech disabilities who use
languages other than English to communicate with voice telephone users
in a shared language other than English, through a communications
assistant who is fluent in that language.

III. Legal Background

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its implementing
regulations prohibit recipients of federal financial assistance from
discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin. In
certain circumstances, failure to provide meaningful access to LEP
persons is national origin discrimination. Most of the statements in
this Guidance pertain to services provided by a recipient, rather than
employment by the recipient. However, employment discrimination is
covered by Title VI if the federal financial assistance is provided for
the purpose of employment or if employment discrimination results in
discrimination against program beneficiaries.
In order to avoid discrimination against LEP persons on the grounds
of national origin, Title VI and the DOT Title VI regulations require
recipients to take reasonable steps to ensure that LEP persons receive
the language assistance necessary to afford them meaningful access to
their programs and activities. A useful test of compliance with this
guidance is to ask the question, ``If we do not provide the service in
question in a language a beneficiary understands, will the beneficiary
still receive essentially the same benefit or service that we provide
to others who are fluent in English?''
As discussed below, the framework for compliance with Title VI in
this area is a flexible one, and DOT recognizes that a ``one-size-fits-
all'' approach is not satisfactory. For instance, some recipients may
have different Title VI LEP concerns in communities affected by their
programs and activities, and may have different amounts of resources
available. DOT also recognizes that some recipients are already
addressing Title VI LEP concerns through existing programs and
activities. We have tried to include examples of these efforts under
Section IX, entitled ``Promising Practices/Best Practices.'' More
examples are welcome.
Many recipients of Federal financial assistance recognize that the
failure to provide language assistance to LEP persons may deny them
vital access to programs or activities. The failure to remove language
barriers can be attributed to many reasons ranging from ignorance of
the fact that some members of the community are unable to communicate
in English to intentional discrimination on the basis of national
origin. While there is not always a direct relationship between an
individual's language and national origin, language often serves as an
identifier of national origin. As the Supreme Court observed in
Hernandez v. New York,

[l]anguage elicits a response from others, * * * ranging from
admiration and respect, to distance and alienation, to ridicule and
scorn. Reactions of the latter type all too often result from or
initiate racial hostility * * * It may well be, for certain ethnic
groups and in some communities, that proficiency in a particular
language, like skin color, should be treated as a surrogate for race
under an equal protection analysis.

500 U.S. 352, 371 (1991). The significant discriminatory effects that
result from the failure to provide language assistance to LEP persons,
places the treatment of LEP individuals comfortably within the ambit of
Title VI and DOT's implementing regulations.
In Lau v. Nichols, 414 U.S. 563 (1974), the Supreme Court
recognized that, pursuant to Title VI, recipients of Federal financial
assistance have an affirmative responsibility to provide LEP persons
with a meaningful opportunity to participate in publicly funded
programs. Lau involved a group of students of Chinese origin who did
not speak English to whom the recipient provided the same services--an
education provided solely in English--that it provided students who did
speak English. The Court held that, under these circumstances, the
school district's practice violated the Title VI prohibition against
discrimination on the basis of national origin. The Court observed that
``[i]t seems obvious that the Chinese-speaking minority receive fewer
benefits than the English-speaking majority from respondents' school
system which denies them a meaningful opportunity to participate in the
educational program--all earmarks of the discrimination banned by'' the
Title VI regulations. Courts have applied the doctrine enunciated in
Lau both inside and outside of the educational context. It has been
considered in contexts as varied as what languages drivers' license
tests must be given in, to whether material relating to unemployment
benefits must be provided in a language other than English.
Most recently, and in a transportation context, the Eleventh
Circuit in Sandoval v. Hagan, 197 F. 3rd 484 (11th Cir. 1999) petition
for certiorari granted, Alexander v. Sandoval, 121 S.Ct. 28 (Sept. 26,
2000) (No. 99-1908) held that the State of Alabama's policy of
administering a driver's license examination only in English was a
facially neutral practice that had a disproportionate adverse effect on
the basis of national origin, in violation of Title VI. The Court
specifically noted the nexus between language policies and potential
discrimination based on national origin. That is, in Sandoval, the vast
majority of individuals who were adversely affected by Alabama's
English-only driver's license examination policy were of foreign
descent. It is interesting to note that the State produced no evidence
at trial that non-English speakers pose greater highway safety risks
than English speakers.
The Title VI regulations prohibit both intentional discrimination
and policies and practices that appear neutral but have a
discriminatory effect. Thus, a recipient's policies or practices
regarding the provision of benefits and services to LEP persons need
not be intentional to be discriminatory, but may constitute a violation
of Title VI if they have a disproportionate adverse effect on LEP
persons' ability to access programs and services. Accordingly, it is
useful for recipients to examine their policies and practices to
determine whether they adversely affect LEP persons disproportionately.
This LEP Guidance provides a legal framework to assist recipients in
conducting such assessments.
Title VI prohibits discrimination in any program or activity that
receives Federal financial assistance. What constitutes a program or
activity covered by Title VI was clarified by Congress when the Civil
Rights Restoration Act of 1987 (CRRA) was enacted. The CRRA provides
that, in most cases, when a recipient receives Federal financial
assistance for a

[[Page 6736]]

particular program or activity, all operations of the recipient are
covered by Title VI, not just the part of the program that uses the
Federal assistance. Thus, all parts of the recipient's operations would
be covered by Title VI, even if the Federal assistance is used only by
one part.
The Department of Justice is the principal federal agency for
coordinating Title VI requirements. The obligation on the part of
recipients to address the language needs of beneficiaries has been a
long-standing part of its Title VI coordination policies. See 28 CFR
42.405(d)(1) (1976). Moreover, other federal agencies have adopted
Title VI enforcement policies that the denial of benefits to non-
English speakers may result in a disparate impact based on national
origin in violation of Title VI. For example, inability to drive a car
adversely affects individuals in the form of lost economic
opportunities, social services, and other quality of life pursuits.

State or local ``English-Only'' laws

State and local laws may provide additional obligations to serve
LEP individuals, but such laws cannot compel recipients of federal
financial assistance 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 from its
responsibilities under federal anti-discrimination laws. State and
local entities with ``English-only'' laws are certainly not required to
accept federal funding--but if they do, they have to comply with Title
VI and its implementing regulations, including their 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.
In Sandoval v. Hagan, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
found that Alabama's ``English-Only policy'' had a significant
disparate impact on foreign-born individuals, and imposed significant
adversity on individuals by excluding otherwise qualified drivers from
obtaining licenses. It enjoined the continued use of the ``English-Only
policy'' and ordered Alabama to submit a plan for compliance. People
with licenses can get to work in places not served by public
transportation and earn better wages. The inability to drive also may
stand in the way of satisfying other important needs, such as the need
to get emergency medical attention, particularly in rural areas not
served by public transportation. Additionally, driver's licenses are
the most common form of identification in this country; without one, it
is difficult to take part in the life of the community--opening a bank
account, cashing a check, getting a library card, etc. For these many
reasons, the inability of LEP persons to obtain driver's licenses
presents serious problems.

IV. Ensuring Meaningful Access to LEP Persons

Title VI and its regulations require recipients to take reasonable
steps to ensure ``meaningful'' access to DOT recipients' programs and
activities. The key to providing meaningful access to LEP persons is to
ensure that recipients and LEP beneficiaries can communicate
effectively and act appropriately based on that communication. Thus,
DOT recipients should take reasonable steps to ensure that LEP persons
are given adequate information, are able to understand that
information, and are able to participate effectively in recipient
programs or activities, where appropriate. As the demographics of the
United States continue to change and the proportion of LEP communities
and populations continue to grow, a recipient's challenge (as well as
DOT's challenge) will be to develop linguistically appropriate and
effective methods of communication with LEP persons within the usual,
tight resource constraints.

A. Assessment of Meaningful Access

DOT's main focus when evaluating a Title VI complaint based on
allegations of national origin discrimination against LEP persons will
be whether a recipient has taken reasonable steps to eliminate barriers
to meaningful communication with LEP individuals and to provide
necessary services equivalent to those provided to people who are fully
English proficient. What ``reasonable steps'' should be taken will
depend upon a number of factors. These factors include the following:
The number and proportion of LEP persons potentially
served by the recipient's programs or activities, and the variety of
languages spoken in the recipient's service area:
The recipient should consider the number or proportion of people
who will be excluded from participation in programs or activities
without efforts to remove language barriers. Programs and activities
that affect a few or even one LEP person are subject to the Title VI
obligation to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful opportunities
to obtain services. Nevertheless, the steps that are reasonable for a
recipient whose programs or activities affect one LEP person a year may
be different than those expected from a recipient whose program or
activity affects many LEP persons on a regular basis. However, DOT
encourages even those recipients whose programs or activities affect
very few LEP persons on an infrequent basis to consider reasonable
steps for involvement of LEP persons and to plan for situations in
which LEP persons will be affected under the program or activity in
question. This plan need not be intricate; it may be as simple as
having certain public notices translated into a language other than
English, providing an interpreter under certain conditions, or making
available technological solutions such as a telephone language line.
The frequency with which LEP individuals are affected by
the program or activity:
The frequency with which LEP persons are affected by the programs
or activities is also important. DOT encourages recipients to take into
account the frequency with which the recipient's program or activity
may affect LEP persons in its service area and to have the flexibility
to tailor its actions to those needs. For example, if the recipient
knows that there is a large LEP community that exists and that
community is often impacted by the recipient's programs and activities,
it may want to regularly translate notices of public hearings and post
them in areas where LEP individuals will see them. DOT encourages
recipients to use communication methods likely to reach the affected
community (e.g., insert information with utility bills, place public
service announcements on local radio shows, place notices on bulletin
boards in grocery stores, houses of worship, community newspapers and
community centers). In the notices, you can provide the option of
translation services at public hearings if individuals contact you by a
certain date. This way, if no one responds you do not expend valuable
resources when no actual need for translation services exists.
Notices and information that are generally available to the public
should be made available to substantial LEP populations. For example,
weather and road condition telephone lines and websites should be
available in translation. In areas with severe weather, such notices
will probably rise to the level of safety issues, and therefore require
the higher level of service described elsewhere in this guidance.
The importance of the effect of the recipient's program or
activity on LEP

[[Page 6737]]

persons, bearing in mind that transportation is considered an essential
service to participation in modern society:
The importance of the effects of the recipient's program or
activity on LEP persons has a direct bearing on the reasonableness of
steps taken to ensure meaningful participation. DOT encourages you to
take more vigorous steps where the denial or delay of access may have
more crucial implications than in situations that are not as crucial to
one's day-to-day activities. For example, the obligations of federally-
assisted health, emergency, hazardous materials, and safety efforts
differ from those of a Federally-assisted program where safety or
health is not at stake. DOT encourages you to consider the importance
of the participation in the program or activity to individuals both
immediately and in the long-term, as well as synergistic effects. In a
study done in 1995, all Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel who
participated referred to language as a principal challenge in
effectively working with Hispanic community members. In addition, many
recently arrived Hispanics are not accustomed to using the telephone to
access emergency medical services. Such circumstances justify greater
efforts by recipients to educate LEP individuals, as discussed
elsewhere in this Guidance. In addition, inability to access public
transportation may adversely effect ability to obtain health care,
education, and jobs.
The resources available to the recipient, and whether the
recipient has budgeted for provision of special language services:
Resources of a recipient may be a factor in determining the level
and kind of language services it should provide. Larger recipients with
more resources will have more language service responsibilities than
smaller recipients with few resources. DOT will use a reasonableness
standard in evaluating whether a recipient's efforts are sufficient.
Where excessive cost is proffered by a recipient as a reason for not
undertaking necessary special language services, DOT will evaluate the
situation on a case-by-case basis. DOT's evaluation will include a
consideration of the totality of the recipient's circumstances,
including the size of the budget of the largest organizational entity
which supervises the work of the program, project or activity that
directly receives DOT financial assistance. For example, for a unit of
a state department of transportation, the budget of the entire state
DOT will be used as a point of reference. Other considerations will
include those listed elsewhere in this Guidance, such as the size of
the LEP population needing services, the degree to which such
populations have been historically excluded from services, the
availability of less costly alternative service modalities, whether the
costs can be amortized over time or are a one-time expense, whether
services can be phased in to avoid excessive cost in any one year, the
possibility of alternate sources of funds to pay for the necessary
services, whether the services are required in response to complaints
or law suits, and how long the recipient has been on notice that the
special language services should be provided. Note that Title VI has
been in existence since 1964, and that recipients have been on notice
that discrimination on the basis of national origin has been prohibited
since then.
The level of services provided to fully English proficient
people;
Whether LEP persons are being excluded from services, or
being provided a lower level of services:
Only under rare circumstances could this exclusion be justified,
and the burden of proving the need for the exclusion would be very
high. Example 1: The recipient provides no services to a neighborhood
where LEP people live, while providing services to a neighborhood where
fully English proficient people live. Example 2: Several years ago, a
job access program funded by DOT's Federal Transit Administration
stated in its brochures that eligible applicants must ``speak
English.'' Note that the prohibition on exclusion due to national
origin would also apply to situations where a recipient excluded a
beneficiary from bringing an interpreter to a meeting, test, or other
formal situation with the recipient. Although DOT discourages reliance
by recipients on beneficiary-supplied interpreters, if the beneficiary
desires to use one, and the recipient does not supply an interpreter,
the recipient should permit his/her use. DOT recognizes that issues of
security of testing are sometimes thought to arise when an non-
recipient-supplied interpreter translates for a beneficiary. These
issues are the responsibility of the recipient. If security is felt to
be a potential problem by a recipient, the recipient bears the burden
of supplying the interpreter.
Whether the recipient has adequate justification for
restrictions, if any, on special language services or speaking
languages other than English:
Such justifications would be accepted only in rare circumstances.
Assertions of safety justifications would generally not be accepted
unless accompanied by statistical and/or scientific causality studies
and evidence showing a positive correlation between limited English
proficiency and crash and death/injury rates at rates substantially
higher than would be expected due to chance.
There is no one-size fits all solution for Title VI compliance with
respect to LEP persons. When investigating a Title VI complaint, DOT
will assess language assistance allegations on a case-by-case basis,
and will afford considerable flexibility to recipients to determine
precisely how to fulfill this obligation. DOT will focus on the end
result--whether recipients have taken the necessary steps to ensure
that LEP persons have meaningful access to participate in their
programs and activities, and whether those services are being provided
so that LEP persons have an equal opportunity to benefit from
recipients' services.

V. Compliance and Enforcement

The recommendations outlined in this Guidance are not intended to
be exhaustive. Recipients should establish and implement policies and
procedures for providing language assistance sufficient to fulfill
their Title VI responsibilities and provide LEP persons with meaningful
access to services. DOT enforces Title VI as it applies to recipients'
responsibilities to LEP persons through the procedures provided for in
DOT's Title VI regulations (49 CFR Part 21, see Appendix A), and in
appropriate DOT operating administration regulations. These procedures
include complaint investigations, compliance reviews, alternative
dispute resolution, efforts to secure voluntary compliance and
technical assistance.
DOT's Title VI regulations provide that the agency will investigate
whenever it receives a complaint, report or other information that
alleges or indicates possible noncompliance with Title VI. If the
investigation results in a finding of compliance, DOT will inform the
recipient and the complainant in writing of this determination,
including the basis for the determination. If the investigation results
in a finding of noncompliance, DOT must inform the recipient of the
noncompliance through a Letter of Findings that sets out the areas of
noncompliance and the steps that must be taken to correct the
noncompliance, and must attempt to secure voluntary compliance through
informal means. If the matter cannot be resolved informally, DOT must
secure compliance through (a) the termination of Federal assistance
after the recipient has been given an opportunity for an administrative
hearing, (b) referral to DOJ for injunctive relief or other

[[Page 6738]]

enforcement proceedings, or (c) any other means authorized by law.
As the Title VI regulations set forth in the Appendix indicate, DOT
has a legal obligation to seek voluntary compliance in resolving cases
and cannot seek the termination of funds until it has engaged in
voluntary compliance efforts and has determined that compliance cannot
be secured voluntarily. During these efforts to secure voluntary
compliance, DOT consults with and assists recipients entities in
exploring cost effective ways of coming into compliance, by sharing
information on potential community resources, by increasing awareness
of emerging technologies, by sharing information on how other
recipients entities have addressed the language needs of diverse
populations, and by proposing reasonable timetables for achieving
compliance.
Whenever possible, DOT provides recipients with technical
assistance upon request and an opportunity to come into voluntary
compliance with Title VI prior to initiating formal enforcement
proceedings. In determining a recipient's compliance with Title VI, the
Departmental Office of Civil Rights' (DOCR) primary concern is to
ensure that the recipient's policies and procedures allow LEP persons
to overcome language differences that result in barriers and have a
meaningful opportunity to participate in and access programs, services
and benefits to the same extent as fully English proficient persons. A
recipients's appropriate use of the methods and options discussed in
this policy guidance will be viewed by DOCR as evidence of a
recipient's willingness to comply voluntarily with its Title VI
obligations.
Further, when reviewing any claim of discrimination, DOT considers
the severity of the adverse impact on LEP persons, the egregiousness or
pervasiveness of any adverse action taken by a recipient, and whether
the recipient has shown an intent to discriminate.

Assurance Forms

When organizations apply for DOT financial assistance, they submit
an assurance with their applications that they will comply with the
requirements of DOT's regulations implementing Title VI with respect to
their programs and activities. When they receive DOT financial
assistance, they accept the obligation to comply with DOT's Title VI
implementing regulations. These assurances should be understood to
include provision of services to national origin minority persons who
are limited English proficient.

VI. Framework for Language Assistance

DOT has determined that effective language assistance programs
usually address each of the elements described below. The failure to
incorporate or implement one or more of these elements does not
necessarily indicate noncompliance with Title VI. When investigating
Title VI complaints, DOT will review the totality of the circumstances
to determine whether LEP persons have had meaningful access to
participate effectively in a recipient's programs and activities.
1. Needs Assessment
A recipient should conduct a thorough assessment of the language
needs of the population and communities affected by the recipient.
The first key to ensuring meaningful access to LEP persons is to
assess the language needs of the affected population and communities
served, through application of the analysis described elsewhere in this
Guidance. Ways to assess language needs include identifying the non-
English languages used in communities affected by the recipient,
estimating how many people speak each language, where they live, and
how well they are currently accessing services provided to those who
are fully English proficient. After identifying LEP communities, DOT
encourages recipients to consider any barriers to communication with
these communities. It is possible that, in certain instances, the
results of the assessment may indicate that, although LEP communities
are affected by the programs and activities, there are no barriers to
communication with these communities, because they are bilingual, for
instance, or do not need or want translation services.
An approach may be developed to identify geographic areas where LEP
communities live using existing resources such as census data, data
from local organizations and community groups, faith-based groups that
provide services in languages other than English, immigrant aid
organizations, state refugee coordinators, non-English media outlets,
and school district LEP statistics. The latter are particularly
valuable, since all school districts are required to maintain data on
LEP students and provide necessary special language services. It is
important to collaborate with community groups and other appropriate
stakeholders to develop the criteria for identifying geographic areas.
Once the areas are identified, the recipient can work with the affected
communities and stakeholders to determine their language assistance
needs. The recipient may also choose to identify actual or potential
populations within a particular service area or area of responsibility.
Specifically, DOT encourages recipients to identify linguistically
isolated populations or job sites in which LEP persons represent a
significant proportion of the workforce (e.g., manual labor, hotel
cleaning, food preparation, auto supplies, etc.) Transportation
entities in particular should be aware of the potential difficulties
LEP people may have in public transportation from home to work, health
facilities, schools, shopping, faith-based facilities, day-care, and
leisure activities. New immigrants to the United States from non-
English speaking countries may be especially in need of special
language services. Note that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
covers ``people in the United States.'' Thus, recipients may generally
not refuse to provide services to non-citizens, regardless of
immigration status.
Identifying the points of contact in the program or activity where
language assistance is likely to be needed, identifying the resources
that will be needed to provide effective language assistance,
identifying the location and availability of these resources, and
identifying the arrangements that should be made to access these
resources in a timely manner are important factors to ensure effective
provision of services.
2. Written Language Assistance Plan
Recipients should develop and implement written language assistance
plans that will ensure meaningful opportunities for LEP persons to
access their programs and activities and effectively participate in
them.
A recipient can help ensure effective communication with LEP
persons by developing and implementing a comprehensive, written
language assistance plan. Such a plan should include policies and
procedures for identifying and assessing the language needs of LEP
persons, and provide for a range of written and oral language
assistance options, periodic training of staff, actual provision of
services, and monitoring of the program. DOT encourages recipients to
consider the transportation needs of the LEP community affected by the
recipient's programs and activities while developing this plan. The
factor analysis set forth in this Guidance should be the starting point
for identifying areas in which language services are needed.
DOT encourages recipients to consider one or more of the following

[[Page 6739]]

ideas as they develop language assistance plans:
Assigning primary responsibility for development and
implementation of the plan to an appropriate manager or supervisor.
Preparing a written summary of results from the needs
assessment (discussed above).
Identifying actions already being taken and existing tools
that can be used to provide meaningful access to LEP individuals, and
how well they work.
Creating an inventory of existing materials that have been
translated into other languages to assist LEP individuals.
Regularly updating the inventory of translated materials.
Drafting a plan that is specific and detailed, yet
flexible enough to respond to existing or potential needs over an
appropriate time period (i.e., five years).
Ensuring that translation arrangements have quality
control (i.e., mechanisms are in place to ensure that the translation
accurately and appropriately conveys the substance of what is contained
in the written materials).
Distributing the names of organizational contacts who will
respond to inquiries and requests regarding access to programs and
activities by LEP individuals, in appropriate media and publications.
Addressing the appropriate mix of written and oral
language assistance to ensure effective communication with the LEP
population.
A plan should generally include:
Who is responsible for each step.
When each step is expected to be completed. (Generally
speaking, the more vital the service, the sooner it should be
provided.)
What standards and criteria are to be applied to measure
the effectiveness of each step.
What resources will be devoted to each step.
How the recipient will document implementation of each
step.
3. Staff Training
Recipients should ensure that staff understand the recipient's
language assistance policy and are capable of carrying it out.
The success of recipients' LEP/Title VI activities will depend on
the staff's knowledge, credibility, and actions. DOT encourages
recipients to disseminate the recipient's policy to all employees
likely to have contact with LEP persons and to periodically train
employees. Effective training, which includes cultural and community
relations sensitization, is one way to ensure that there is not a gap
between your policies and procedures and the actual practices of
employees who interact with LEP persons. Effective training ensures
that employees are knowledgeable and aware of LEP policies and
procedures, can work effectively with in-person and telephone
interpreters, and understand the dynamics of interpretation between
beneficiaries, providers and interpreters. It is important that this
training be part of the orientation for new employees and all employees
in beneficiary contact positions should be properly trained. Given the
high turnover rate among some types of employees, a recipient may find
it useful to maintain a training registry that records the names and
dates of employees' training.
4. Provision of Special Language Assistance
Recipients must actually provide necessary services to LEP persons.
Most important to any LEP plan is to actually provide the necessary
services. Actual provision of services includes notification of the
availability of services. A vital part of an effective compliance
program includes having effective methods for notifying LEP persons
regarding their right to language assistance and the availability of
such assistance free of charge. These methods include but are not
limited to:
Use of language identification cards that allow LEP
beneficiaries to identify their language needs to staff and for staff
to identify the language needs of applicants and clients. To be
effective, the cards (e.g., ``I speak cards'') should invite the LEP
person to identify the language he/she speaks. This identification can
be recorded in the LEP person's file, if the recipient keeps such files
on beneficiaries.
Posting and maintaining signs in regularly encountered
non-English languages in waiting rooms, reception areas and other
initial points of entry. In order to be effective, these signs should
inform applicants and beneficiaries of their right to free language
assistance services and invite them to identify themselves as persons
needing such services.
Translation of application forms and instructional,
informational and other written materials into appropriate non-English
languages by competent translators. For LEP persons whose language does
not exist in written form, assistance should be provided from an
interpreter to explain the contents of the document. LEP persons may
need assistance, for example, however, in filling out forms such as
those for transit half-fare benefits or paratransit eligibility under
the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Uniform procedures for timely and effective telephone
communication between staff and LEP persons. This should include
instructions for English-speaking employees to obtain assistance from
interpreters or bilingual staff when receiving calls from or initiating
calls to LEP persons, and
Inclusion of 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.
5. Monitoring
Recipients should conduct regular oversight of their language
assistance programs to ensure that LEP persons can meaningfully access
their programs and activities. It is also important that recipients
regularly monitor their language assistance programs by assessing the
following:
Current LEP demographics of the population that is
affected by the recipient's programs and activities.
Current communication needs of LEP communities.
Whether the recipient's plan is adequately supported so
that it has a realistic chance of success.
Whether existing assistance is meeting the needs of LEP
persons.
Whether recipient staff are knowledgeable about policies
and procedures and how to implement them.
Whether sources of, and arrangements for, assistance are
still current and viable.
Whether the plan is periodically evaluated and revised, as
necessary. Note that recipients are required to modify their plans and
programs of service if they prove to be unsuccessful after a legitimate
trial.
Number and type of grievances and complaints received by
the recipient or against the recipient by DOJ or DOT, alleging lack of
provision of services due to limited English proficiency.
One way to evaluate the language assistance program is to seek and
obtain feedback from the communities served. DOT believes that
compliance with the Title VI language assistance obligation is most
likely met when a recipient continuously monitors its program and makes
modifications where necessary, including meeting public participation
requirements under other initiatives such as environmental justice.

[[Page 6740]]

VII. Ways of Providing Language Services

Once the recipient has determined that language services are
needed, there are three main ways of providing those services: oral
interpretation; written translation; and alternate, non-verbal methods.
The following provides information on these three methods.

A. Oral Language Interpretation

In designing an effective language assistance program, a recipient
develops procedures for obtaining and providing trained and competent
interpreters and other oral language assistance services, in a timely
manner, by taking some or all of the following steps:
Hiring bilingual staff who are trained and competent in
the skill of interpreting.
Hiring staff interpreters who are trained and competent in
the skill of interpreting.
Contracting with an outside interpreter service for
trained and competent interpreters.
Arranging formally for the services of voluntary community
interpreters who are trained and competent in the skill of
interpreting.
Arranging/contracting for the use of a telephone language
interpreter service.
Bilingual Staff--Hiring bilingual staff for beneficiary contact
positions facilitates participation by LEP persons. However, where
there are a variety of LEP language groups in a recipient's service
area, this option may be insufficient to meet the needs of all LEP
applicants and clients. Where this option is insufficient to meet these
needs, the recipient should provide additional and timely language
assistance. Bilingual staff should be trained and should demonstrate
competence as interpreters.
Staff Interpreters--Paid staff interpreters are especially
appropriate where there is a frequent and/or regular need for
interpreting services. These persons should be competent and readily
available.
Contract Interpreters--The use of contract interpreters may be an
option for recipients that have an infrequent need for interpreting
services, have less common LEP language groups in their service areas,
or need to supplement their in-house capabilities on an as needed
basis. Such contract interpreters should be readily available and
competent.
Community Volunteers--Use of community volunteers may provide
recipients with a cost-effective method for providing interpreter
services. However, experience has shown that to use community
volunteers effectively, recipients should ensure that formal
arrangements for interpreting services are made with community
organizations so that these organizations are not subjected to ad hoc
requests for assistance. In addition, recipients should ensure that
these volunteers are competent as interpreters and understand their
obligation to maintain client confidentiality. Additional language
assistance should be provided where competent volunteers are not
readily available during all hours of service.
Telephone Interpreter Lines--A telephone interpreter service line
may be a useful option as a supplemental system, or may be useful when
a recipient 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, recipients should be aware that such services may not
always have readily available interpreters who are familiar with the
terminology peculiar to the particular program or service. It is
important that a recipient not offer this as the only language
assistance option except where other language assistance options are
unavailable (e.g., in a rural area visited by a LEP beneficiary who
speaks a language that is not usually encountered in the area).

B. Translation of Written Materials

An effective language assistance program ensures that written
materials that are routinely provided in English to applicants, clients
and the public are available in regularly encountered languages other
than English. It is particularly important to ensure that vital
documents, such as applications, consent forms, letters containing
important information regarding participation in a program (such as a
cover letter outlining conditions of participation in a paratransit
program), notices pertaining to the reduction, denial or termination of
services or benefits or that require a response from beneficiaries,
notices advising LEP persons of the availability of free language
assistance, and other outreach materials be translated into the non-
English language of each regularly encountered LEP group eligible to be
served or likely to be directly affected by the recipient's program.
Materials with a ``gatekeeper'' function, such as those concerning the
necessity for insurance and licensure, should be translated. Notices
for the public should be published in the primary non-English language
media serving the recipient's service area. However, note the emphasis
elsewhere in this document on exploring non-verbal/non-language-based
approaches to communication. Warning signs should be posted in the
languages spoken by people likely to encounter the signs.
Services such as public safety, police, and law enforcement that
might result in the diminution of personal freedom, in fines and
penalties, in loss of driving privileges, or in ``points'' on driving
records, are subject to a high burden on the recipient that provides
such services, in terms of timeliness and quality of translation of key
documents. Many DOT recipients are engaged in such services--such as
state departments of public safety, state motor vehicle departments,
transit and railroad police, and airport security. More complete
guidance for such special language services by law enforcement
personnel is available through the Department of Justice.
It is important to ensure that written materials routinely provided
by a recipient in English also are provided in regularly encountered
languages other than English. 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 affected by the recipient's program or activity. A document will be
considered vital if it contains information that is critical for
obtaining federal services and/or benefits, or is required by law.
Vital documents include, for example: applications; consent and
complaint forms; notices of rights and disciplinary action; notices
advising LEP persons of the availability of free language assistance;
and written tests that do not assess English language competency, but
rather competency for a particular license, job, or skill for which
English competency is not required; and letters or notices that require
a response from the beneficiary or client. For instance, if a complaint
form is necessary in order to file a claim with an agency, that
complaint form would be vital. Non-vital information includes documents
that are not critical to access such benefits and services.
Vital documents should be translated when a significant number or
percentage of the population eligible to be served, or likely to be
directly affected by the program/activity, needs services or
information in a language other than English to communicate
effectively. For many larger documents, translation of vital
information contained within the document will suffice and the
documents need not be translated in their entirety.

[[Page 6741]]

It may sometimes be difficult to draw a distinction between vital
and non-vital documents, particularly when considering outreach or
other documents designed to raise awareness of rights or services.
Though meaningful access to a program requires an awareness of the
program's existence, DOT recognizes that it would be impossible, from a
practical and cost-based perspective, to translate every piece of
outreach material into every language. Title VI does not require this
of recipients. Nevertheless, because in some circumstances lack of
awareness of the existence of a particular program may effectively deny
LEP individuals meaningful access, it is important to continually
survey/assess the needs of eligible service populations to determine
whether certain critical outreach materials should be translated into
other languages.
DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has
found that direct translation of safety pamphlets and brochures that
have been developed in English into a non-English language often
results in an inferior or inappropriate product due to the many
dialects and linguistic styles of foreign languages and because the
materials were not designed to originally focus on a particular
dialect-speaking audience. A better approach is to develop the
materials in the language and dialect in which they are intended to be
used. Also, involving the target community in review of the final
brochure or product can eliminate inappropriate word choice and
increase the effectiveness of the messages. Community group involvement
can also provide a ready means of distribution of the materials

C. Use of Alternative Communication Methods and Devices:

To alleviate the concerns of recipients, and to reduce cost, DOT
encourages recipients to explore use of methods and devices that do not
use language. For example, use of pictograms, symbol signs, standard
symbolic signs (SMS's), diagrams, color-coded warnings, illustrations,
graphics, and pictures can be considered. A major example of the use of
such methods in transportation infrastructure is the laminated plastic
safety information cards in the seat back pouches on commercial
airliners. These cards communicate a great deal of important safety
information using very few words in any language. Schematic maps can
similarly quickly communicate large amounts of information without
words. Standard symbols such as are used on international roads and at
the Olympics can be used. Use of such non-verbal methods will also help
alleviate problems of communication for those who are illiterate or
partially literate, those who are too young to read, and those with
hearing impairments. Use of symbol signs may help elderly drivers as
well, since signing in highway work areas raises sign legibility issues
for older drivers. It may be noted that there is overlap between older
drivers and those who are more likely to be LEP in some subpopulations,
such as the Navajo. Symbol signs and pictograms also benefit
globalization of trade and travel.

Example 1. ``Transportation engineers world-wide are moving
toward the use of symbol signs in place of word signs because they
are easier for people to comprehend in a shorter amount of time.
Easily recognized symbols also accommodate people who cannot read
English.'' (Irvine, California, Traffic Research and Control Center
(ITRAC))

Example 2. ``Universal design considerations also offer the
potential to benefit persons with a cognitive disability. For
example, standardized symbols, pictures, and color coding offer
benefits to persons with a cognitive disability. If written
information is provided, the messages should be short and clear.
Repetition of symbols and information also helps reduce the
difficulty of remembering information.'' (Transport Canada,
``Technologies for travelers with sensory or cognitive disabilities
(TP 13247E)'')

A Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) study reached these
conclusions about symbol signs:
Minimize symbol complexity by using very few details.
Maximize the distance between symbol sign elements.
Use representational rather than abstract symbols.
Use solid rather than outline figures for designs.
Standardize the design of arrowheads, human figures, and vehicles.
Retain maximum contrast between the symbol and the sign background.
Use of pictograms in dynamic signs can be considered. These are in
use in Europe. Regulatory speed limit messages are presented using a
number in a red circle, which is analogous to the European static speed
limit sign. Other symbol messages presented to drivers in dynamic
message signs include congestion, snow, and diversion (detour)
directions. Research is underway to develop additional symbols for
inclusion in the European standards for traffic control devices. Two
specific conditions for which symbols are being explored are ``fog''
and ``accident.''

Example: NHTSA, 49 CFR Parts 571 and 575, Consumer Information
Regulations: Utility Vehicle Label; Final Rule, Federal Register,
March 9, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 45) ``The rule requires the label's
header to have an alert symbol (a triangle containing an exclamation
point) followed by the statement ``WARNING: Higher Rollover Risk''
in black text on a yellow background. The following three statements
must appear below the header in the center of the label: ``Avoid
Abrupt Maneuvers and Excessive Speed,'' ``Always Buckle Up,'' and
``See Owner's Manual For Further Information.'' The rule specifies
that the label must contain two pictograms: one showing a tilting
utility vehicle on the left of the label, and the other showing a
seated vehicle occupant with a secured three-point belt system on
the right. The pictograms and the statement must be in black on a
white background.'' The label was revised from 77 words to 19 words
and two pictograms. Permission was granted to companies to produce
the label with both the required English words and a translation
into other languages. Labels have been produced with French and
Spanish translations.

There are opportunities for higher technology approaches, such as
use of multimedia pictograms, holograms, photographs, looped
videotapes, embedded picture instructions to represent destinations and
instructions, information kiosks with multiple languages, courtesy
telephones at stations linked to a central number with translators, and
voice recognition.

VIII. Application of this Guidance for DOT Recipients

Grievance or Complaint Procedures

Generally, a recipient should maintain a written and publicly known
grievance or complaint procedure available to members of the public, so
that LEP persons can bring alleged problems with lack of services to
the recipient's attention for resolution. DOT encourages recipients to
resolve such problems at the lowest level possible and encourages use
of alternate dispute resolution. Grievance and complaint procedures
should be prompt and equitable while obeying generally accepted
elements of due process. However, they need not be overly formal.
Existing grievance or complaint procedures can be used if they are
modified as necessary to clarify their availability for use with LEP
disputes and are made available in languages used in the community
service area.

LEP Community Outreach and Education

It may be useful for the recipient to have an established, formal
linkage between a minority community-based organization and a
transportation provider or infrastructure entity. The linkage can be
confirmed by a signed agreement between the applicant and linkage
organizations which specifies in

[[Page 6742]]

detail the roles and resources that each entity will bring to the
project, and states the duration and terms of the linkage. The document
can be signed by an individual with the authority to represent the
community-based organization (e.g., president, chief executive officer,
executive director).
Comprehensive outreach includes the following:
Use of ethnic media, such as radio, television,
newspapers, magazines and websites.
Use of faith-based organizations, such as temples, mosques
and churches.
Work with community-based organizations at the local (city
or county) level that provide social services, health care, classes,
etc. to target LEP communities.
Outreach to schools with substantial enrollments of LEP
children.
Ensure that translated materials provide referrals to
telephone numbers or websites that are linguistically accessible (i.e.,
a flyer in Vietnamese should refer the caller to a hotline with
Vietnamese-speaking workers).
Nontraditional channels, such as day care centers and
Headstart programs.
Forming community groups led by a trained lay educator (a
promotore or promotora) to enable adults to discuss issues and learn
from each other.
The content of community outreach is important. For example, DOT
has been told by a coalition of Southeast Asian-American advocacy
groups that many people in their communities lack basic information
about transportation services. The information needs include safety and
security information, such as what may not be carried on airplanes and
questions that will be asked at the ticket counter. Knowledge about
public participation opportunities in transportation planning is
needed. This area should especially be addressed by metropolitan
planning organizations (MPOs).
DOT encourages partnerships among federal recipients and other
human services organizations. How these can work is shown in the
following example. ``Expand existing loan programs that assist welfare
recipients in purchasing cars and increase accessibility to public
transportation. Counties should expand existing programs or create new
programs that lend money to welfare recipients and other low-income
families to purchase cars. Counties should also explore savings
accounts that enable recipients to save for purchasing their own cars,
without jeopardizing their financial eligibility for welfare cash aid.
ERA also recommends that counties partner with transportation agencies
to translate transportation information and resources into other
languages.'' (Equal Rights Advocates [ERA's] Immigrant Women and
Welfare study)

Transportation Planning

Recipients' transportation plans should identify how the needs of
LEP persons will be met where a significant number of such persons can
be reasonably expected to need transportation services.

Numerical Thresholds

DOT has determined that it will not specify numerical or percentage
thresholds for LEP populations that need to be served by recipients.
Generally, the larger the number or percent of LEP beneficiaries within
a recipient's service area who speak a particular primary or home
language, the more thorough, intensive, and speedy the special language
services should be. The extent of the service area will in part
determine the number or percent of the covered population. For example,
the service area of state departments of transportation will generally
be considered to be the entire state. The service area of a
metropolitan planning organization will be the geographic area for
which the MPO provides surface transportation planning services.
International airports serve a very broad geographical area, and may be
presented with special problems in dealing with a large number of
languages. Such difficulties will be taken into consideration by DOT,
but it is expected that such transportation providers will know a great
deal of demographic information about their users. Similar reasoning
applies to national networks like AMTRAK. Note that the population
includes those who may potentially be served by the recipient, rather
than just those who are presently being served. This is to reach those
who are not presently receiving adequate or equitable services from the
recipient, but might receive such services if the recipient were to
provide special language services to them. DOT recommends that
recipients become aware of the changing demographics of their service
areas, especially in terms of increasing numbers and percents of
languages used, so that recipients can prepare for future service
needs.

Emergency Services

DOT funds a number of first responder, emergency, public safety,
and hazardous materials services. Because of the safety and health
aspects of these services, the need for special language services
delivered without noticeable delay by recipients are heightened.
Workers in these areas render vitally important services whose very
nature requires quick action to protect public safety and health; quick
assessment of a situation, often based on input from community members
on the spot; the establishment of a close relationship with the client
or patient that is based on empathy, confidence and mutual trust; and
direction to affected people that must be carried out with specificity
to be effective. Such relationships depend heavily on the free flow of
communication between professional and client. This essential exchange
of information is difficult when the two parties involved speak
different languages; it may be impeded further by the presence of an
unqualified third person who attempts to serve as an interpreter.
Some safety, emergency, and hazardous materials service providers
have sought to bridge the language gap by encouraging LEP clients to
provide their own interpreters as an alternative to the agency's hiring
of qualified bilingual employees or interpreters. Persons of limited
English proficiency must sometimes rely on their minor children to
interpret for them during safety incidents. Alternatively, these
beneficiaries/clients may be required to call upon neighbors or even
strangers they encounter at the site of the incident to act as
interpreters or translators.
These practices have severe drawbacks and may violate Title VI of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In each case, the impediments to
effective communication and adequate service are formidable. The
beneficiary's untrained ``interpreter'' is often unable to understand
the concepts or official terminology he or she is being asked to
interpret or translate. Even if the interpreter possesses the necessary
language and comprehension skills, his or her mere presence may
obstruct the flow of emergency information to the provider.
When these types of circumstances are encountered, the level and
quality of safety and emergency services available to LEP persons stand
in stark conflict to Title VI's promise of equal access to federally
assisted programs and activities. Services denied, delayed or provided
under adverse circumstances have serious and sometimes life threatening
consequences for a LEP person and may constitute discrimination on the
basis of national origin, in violation of Title VI. Accommodation of
these language differences through the provision of effective language
assistance will promote compliance with Title VI.

[[Page 6743]]

Signage

Signage along highways presents a very difficult LEP topic, due to
the large number of signs, the cost of changing them, and limitations
on space on the sign. Nevertheless, at least one state department of
transportation has reported that some LEP persons may not have the
ability to read variable message signs that alert them to dangerous
driving conditions. Due to the life-saving potential, and subject to
technical and scientific study as to its viability regarding message
length and time, DOT recommends that recipients explore the possibility
of either using pictorial or symbol messages or translating messages
into frequently encountered languages on variable message signs that
report dangerous driving conditions.
Regarding multilingual signage, a county long range transportation
plan has noted, ``Intermodal multilingual referrals and advertising of
customer services should be developed. This can include visual,
auditive, and print information on how to use the various modes.
Appropriate multilingual signage for modes (e.g., bus stops, mode
shares, etc.) could be developed and implemented with international
symbol signs. Buses could include next stop digital displays inside the
bus and/or tone auditory cues for the visually impaired.'' (Bernalillo
County, New Mexico, Long Range Transportation Plan, 1993) As discussed
elsewhere in this Guidance, non-verbal methods can be considered, such
as reducing the amount of text (e.g. ``Glover Park,'' ``Massachusetts
Avenue,'' ``Addison Road'', etc.) and replacing it with numbers,
letters, or colors (e.g. D2, L6, Blue Line).

Literacy

Recipients should be sensitive to literacy levels of LEP consumers
and clients. Some immigrants and refugees come from pre-literate
societies and are not literate in their native language, let alone
English, or are not literate for other reasons. However, note that
literacy is not covered by Title VI. It makes good sense to consider
literacy issues when covering LEP issues, because in some cases, the
solutions are the same. See the discussion above about using symbol
signs, pictograms, and illustrations. Other solutions include the
following:
Contract and work with community-based organizations to
review translated materials for appropriateness of language.
Use focus groups to test messages and language
appropriateness, especially if documents are being translated for the
first time.
Be aware that written translations may not be effective
for some communities but that there are alternative mechanisms such as
the use of audio or video tapes to provide information.
How does low literacy, non-literacy, use of non-written languages,
blindness and deafness among LEP populations affect the
responsibilities of recipients? Effective communication in any language
requires an understanding of the literacy levels of the eligible
populations. Where a LEP person has a limited understanding of
important matters or cannot read, access to the program is complicated
by factors not directly related to language. Under these circumstances,
a recipient should provide transportation and related services
information to the same extent that it would provide such information
to English-speakers. Similarly, a recipient should assist LEP
individuals who cannot read in understanding written materials as it
would non-literate English-speakers. A non-written language precludes
the translation of documents, but does not affect the responsibility of
the recipient to communicate the vital information contained in the
document or to provide notice of the availability of oral translation
according to the size of that language group.

Special Language Services Should be Locally Focused

Language issues are sometimes local issues, due to matters of
usage, dialect, and local preference. Recipient programs of special
language services should be designed carefully to accommodate local
usage and should be field tested with different local language
populations to make appropriate corrections to ensure effective
communication. Materials in both English and the primary or home
language are generally preferred by non-English speaking groups, but
use of English only may sometimes be more appropriate, especially if
preferred by the community being served. To account for differences in
literacy levels and to make materials more attractive, interesting and
likely to be used, the use of photographs and illustrations is
recommended. The keys are effectiveness, usability, and transmission of
information.

Charging for Special Language Services

Recipients should not impose a charge or a fee for special language
services to LEP persons.

Separation for Purposes of Provision of Special Language Services

There may be times when it is most efficient for the recipient to
provide special language services separately to people who speak a
particular non-English language. However, the program design should not
separate these beneficiaries beyond the extent necessary to achieve the
goals of the recipient's program of services. Methods that do not
segregate should be used whenever possible.

Puerto Rico

Much of Puerto Rico's official business is conducted in Spanish.
Therefore, recipients located in Puerto Rico or doing business there
should, wherever possible, translate documents into Spanish.

Low-Frequency and Unusual or Unexpected Languages

When an individual with limited English skills--who does not speak
a language spoken by a ``significant number or proportion of the
population''--seeks services or information from the recipient, the
recipient should then make reasonable efforts to meet the
particularized needs of that individual. Such efforts may include, but
are not limited to, using a telephone language line, locating and
temporarily employing a qualified interpreter who can communicate in
the appropriate language. As technology advances, various options for
complying with the requirements of this section, such as computerized
and/or on-line translation services, are becoming increasingly
available to recipients, and the cost of these options is decreasing.
An Asian-Pacific Islander health care advocacy group commented in
this way on how transportation can present a barrier to health care for
those who speak an unusual language for their location: ``Removal of
barriers such as transportation: It is important to ensure that there
are systems established to address barriers such as transportation and
portability in order to ensure that geographic location does not
prevent patients from accessing care. [Medical Care Organizations] need
to ensure that coverage for enabling transportation is included in the
benefits package. Medicaid enrollees often need to access services in
other counties. This is particularly important for patients in rural
communities, for migrants and for limited English speaking populations.
Limited English speaking persons may need to travel a great distance to
see a provider who speaks their language.'' (``Making Managed Care Work
for Asian

[[Page 6744]]

& Pacific Islanders: An Action Agenda for APIA Communities,'' Dong Suh,
MPP, Policy Analyst, (415) 954-9966, (415) 954-9999 (fax) or e-mail:
dsuh@apiahf.org.)

Surveys

Customer and service surveys by recipients and their contractors,
including ones conducted by telephone, should include the ability to
obtain information from LEP households and individuals. Given the large
number and percent of LEP individuals in the U.S., a general survey
would not be regarded as complete without the participation of people
who are LEP. For example, NHTSA's semi-annual Motor Vehicle Occupant
Safety Survey identified areas of seat belt and car seat safety where
people of Hispanic origin differ from the non-Hispanic population. In
the 1998 survey, 44% of Hispanic respondents strongly or somewhat
agreed with the statement ``I would feel self-conscious around my
friends if I wore a seat belt and they did not,'' as opposed to just
15% of non-Hispanics. This information was used to tailor public
information and education to the needs and attitudes of the targeted
audience.

IX. Promising Practices/Best Practices

The following examples are provided as illustrations of the
responses of some recipients to the need to provide services to LEP
persons. Although interesting and useful, their listing here does not
constitute endorsement by DOT, which will evaluate recipients'
situations on a case-by-case basis using the factors described
elsewhere in this Guidance.
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--A state social services agency has
established an ``Office for Language Interpreter Services and
Translation.'' This office 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--Another county agency has
established a ``Multicultural Delivery Project'' that is designed to
help immigrants and other LEP persons find someone who speaks their
language and who can help them navigate the county health and social
service systems. The project 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.
Use of Technology--Some recipients use their Internet and/or
intranet capabilities to store translated documents online. These
documents can be retrieved as needed.
Telephone Information Lines and Hotlines--Recipients have
established telephone information lines in languages spoken by
frequently encountered language groups to instruct callers, in the non-
English languages, on how to leave a recorded message that will be
answered by someone who speaks the caller's language. For example,
NHTSA's Auto Safety hotline has four representatives who speak Spanish
and are available during normal hotline business hours (8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Eastern Time). The evening hours permit people from the West Coast
(where a significant number of LEP persons reside) to call after work.
The automated voice response system has an option for instructions in
Spanish. Calls from Spanish-speaking customers are placed in a Spanish-
speaking cue which has priority for those four operators who speak
Spanish.
Signage and Other Outreach--Other recipients have provided
information about services, benefits, eligibility requirements, and the
availability of free language assistance, in appropriate languages by
(a) posting signs and placards with this information in public places
such as grocery stores, bus shelters and subway stations; (b) putting
notices in newspapers, and on radio and television stations that serve
LEP groups; (c) placing flyers and signs in the offices of community-
based organizations that serve large populations of LEP persons; (d)
establishing information lines in appropriate languages; and (e) using
posters with appropriate languages designed to reach potential
beneficiaries.
DOT's Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA), at 49
CFR 192.616 and 195.440, requires ``Each [pipeline] operator [to]
establish a continuing educational program to enable customers, the
public, appropriate government organizations, and persons engaged in
excavation related activities to recognize a gas pipeline emergency for
the purpose of reporting it to the operator or the appropriate public
officials. The program and the media used should be as comprehensive as
necessary to reach all areas in which the operator transports gas. The
program must be conducted in English and in other languages commonly
understood by a significant number and concentration of the non-English
speaking population in the operator's area.'' We recommend such an
approach to recipients to meet their individual service provision
needs.
The Governor's Highway Safety Office in New Jersey coordinates
several programs for the Hispanic community. In Essex County, a
bilingual counselor provides community education on safety issues.
Proyecto AASUL (Assistance with Alcohol and Sobriety Uniting
Latinas/Ayuda con Alcohol y Sobriedad Uniendo Latinas), funded by the
California Department of Transportation, was developed to educate
Hispanic women in Southern California about alcohol abuse and related
problems. Information and services included a brochure listing alcohol-
related service providers with Spanish speaking staff and a fotonovela
focusing on the problems of alcoholism in a family setting. A
fotonovela is an extensively illustrated booklet that tells a human-
interest story.
The El Protector program has been implemented in Del Rio, Texas.
The Del Rio Police Department has developed radio spots in Spanish,
about traffic safety issues such as putting people in the back of
pickup trucks, loading and unloading school buses, drinking and
driving, and pedestrian safety.
EMS staff in Los Angeles reported that their system is equipped to
receive calls in 86 languages, although Spanish is the most frequent
language used by 911 callers who do not speak English.
The Michigan DOT has produced a Title VI poster and brochure in
English and Spanish. It?s public hearings officer speaks English and
Spanish. One Michigan metropolitan planning organization (MPO)
translated its I-496 community involvement materials into Spanish.
The New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has administered
drivers license tests in more than 14 languages for at least 10 years,
including French, Greek, Korean, Portuguese, and Turkish. Other states
conduct such tests in other languages. For example, Oregon DOT is in
the process of having its tests

[[Page 6745]]

translated into Japanese and Vietnamese. USDOT recommends that state
agencies share such information, to avoid the necessity of each doing
every translation.
The New Mexico State Highway and Transportation Department has,
with FHWA support, provided Spanish language translations of its Right-
of-Way Acquisition and Relocation Brochures. The State also employs
bilingual right-of-way agents capable of discussing project impacts in
Spanish.
Oregon's DMV website provides online access to English and Spanish
versions of its Driver Manual. It has also contracted with a local
government to provide additional classes to Hispanic drivers on ``rules
of the road'' after they gain their driver's licenses. The State of
Oregon is developing a report on multilingual services provided by
State agencies. The final document will be used by State agencies to
enhance their existing programs, including expanding communication
efforts to serve and protect all Oregonians. On the NHTSA web site, the
Traffic Safety Materials Catalog page has an option to permit a search
for materials for an Asian-American or Hispanic audience. This search
will result in several publications that are available in Spanish or
Chinese.
In Puerto Rico, LEP needs have been addressed by providing all
government services, programs and activities in Spanish.
Tennessee DOT recipients in a geographical area where there is a
significant (above 5%) population that usually speak a language other
than English, must translate and post notices and other correspondence
advising persons that their right to participate in any programs or
activities receiving federal funding cannot be denied on the basis of
nation origin.
Texas DOT has in the past provided forms in Spanish to assist LEP
persons in filling out forms to request certified copies of vehicle
titles. TxDOT also utilizes bilingual employees in its permit office to
provide instruction and assistance to Hispanic truck drivers when
providing permits to route overweight trucks through Texas. In the On
the Job Training Supportive Services Program, Spanish language
television has been used to get the information of the opportunities in
the construction industry to people who have difficulty reading
English.
Virginia DOT became aware that several Disadvantaged Business
Enterprise (DBE) firms were about to be removed from construction
projects in Northern Virginia because projects required certified
concrete inspectors, and the DBE firms were having trouble complying
because the concrete inspection test was only offered in English. VDOT
used supportive services funding to have the training manual and test
material translated into Spanish, and provided tutoring for the DBE
firms. The Virginia State Police (VSP) maintain a written list of
interpreters available statewide to troopers through the Red Cross
Language Bank, as well as universities and local police departments.
The VSP carry cards with Miranda rights set forth in several different
languages.
The Colorado State Patrol has produced safety brochures in Spanish
for farmer and ranchers. It has also printed brochures in Spanish
pertaining to regulatory requirements for trucking firms.
In 1996, the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) was faced
with the relocation of 14 Spanish-speaking families who were living in
a trailer park in north Alabama. The State determined that most of the
residents met the length of occupancy requirements for rental
relocation housing payments. Through a right-of-way consultant who was
under contract with ALDOT, an interpreter was hired from the University
of Alabama--Birmingham to assist the relocation agent in explaining
Uniform Relocation Act entitlements to the heads of families. The
interpreter was on call throughout the relocation process to accompany
the relocation agent whenever it was necessary to contact the
displacees. The families were successfully relocated to Department of
Social Services replacement housing. Several families moved into
surplus Federal Emergency Management Agency mobile homes that were made
available through a private buyer who gave the displacees the option of
renting or entering into a purchase agreement.
Minnesota DOT (MnDOT) authored a manual entitled ``Public
Involvement Procedures For Planning and Project Development'' that
details Mn/DOT requirements to provide access to all residents of
Minnesota under environmental justice standards. The manual takes a
proactive approach to public involvement. It includes such things as
publishing notices in non-English newspapers, printing notices in
appropriate languages and providing translators at public meetings. Mn/
DOT's Office of EEO Contract Management provides a Spanish language
version of a brochure entitled ``Mn/DOT Construction Contracts: Labor
Provisions for Contractor Employees'' to construction employees during
reviews and upon request to Contractors for employee distribution. This
pamphlet provides general guidelines to labor laws and Mn/DOT contract
labor provisions. Mn/DOT's Office of EEO Contract Management is on call
to provide Spanish language translation at Mn/DOT's Information Desk.
In addition, telephone numbers are provided to persons who wish to
speak directly to Spanish-speaking EEO Office employees.
Mn/DOT's Office of EEO Contract Management provides Spanish
language translations in both written communications and oral
interviews for labor investigations. In addition, the EEO Office
provided written materials in Spanish for explanation of processes and
procedures for such investigations.
Wisconsin DOT created a Motorist Study Manual Easy reader (3rd
grade level, translated by the Janesville Literacy Council) version in
English. It is creating one in Spanish and is considering Hmong. There
are regular versions (6th grade level) in English, Spanish and Hmong.
There is a Motorcycle Study Manual in English and Spanish, and a CDL
(Commercial Drivers License) Study Manual in English and Spanish.
Knowledge and Highway Sign Tests are provided in 13 languages besides
English. Some languages have been available since the late 1970s. Bids
are being prepared to update the bank of questions in non-English
languages based on demand. Knowledge and Highway Sign Tests are
provided via various audio means ranging from cassette tapes in English
and Spanish to allowing bilingual translators to verbally present the
questions in non-English languages based on demand. A pilot to evaluate
automated knowledge test systems is underway at three DMV Service
Centers. The pilot includes tests in English, Spanish, and on
audiotape. These automated knowledge test systems allow testing in many
languages. The Division of State Patrol is using a compact disk with
commonly used phrases and sayings in languages other than English that
is printable to a paper card, which then contains the phrase in an
appropriate language for the LEP person who is interacting with the
officer. The officer points to the appropriate column on the card.
WIDOT also keeps a roster of employees who speak, read, or write non-
English languages.
In Indiana, 15 Commercial Drivers License branches offer the CDL
knowledge test orally, in a true/false format.
The Zuni Entrepreneurial Enterprises Inc. (ZEE) Public
Transportation Program was designed to develop, implement, and maintain
a

[[Page 6746]]

transportation system that provides needed linkages for Native
Americans and other traditionally unserved/underserved persons in the
service area to access needed vocational training and employment
opportunities in order to enhance both the quality of life and the
attainment and perpetuation of meaningful employment. The trip purposes
served by the Zuni JOBLINKS project included education, employment, and
job training. ZEE provided transportation of students to the University
of New Mexico at Gallup, transportation of employees to their existing
jobs in Gallup, as well as transportation for individuals requiring
vocational rehabilitation and job training within the Pueblo of Zuni.
The Project Director also took a number of steps to market the JOBLINKS
service. He coordinated the broadcast of a radio spot on a local radio
station in English and Zuni.
Seattle's Sound Transit's Link Light Rail to the Rainier Valley in
south Seattle is an example of best practices. Demographically, the
Rainier Valley is home to a high percentage of immigrant, refugee, low
income, and disadvantaged Seattle residents. In addition to providing
direct service benefits, Sound Transit has also provided the community
with information they need to access the service in the appropriate
languages. This has taken the form of translated brochures, outreach
staff skilled in interpretation, and multi-language phone lines. etc.
The Washington, DC area's Metro transit system (WMATA) publishes
pocket guides to the system in French, Spanish, German, and Japanese.
The following example, although it is focused on people who are
deaf, is applicable to people who are LEP. Portland's Tri-Met transit
system had a growing concern that access needs of people who are deaf
or hard-of-hearing have not been fully addressed, due to more immediate
ADA priorities such as putting lifts on buses and implementing
paratransit plans. They contacted the Oregon Deaf Resources Center
(ODRC) to discuss problems and issues and examine how to make public
transportation more accessible to this segment of the disability
community. One of the first things Tri-Met learned was that the main
barrier in fixed-route travel for people who are deaf is difficulty in
getting bus drivers to understand questions and provide information. In
fact, people in Portland's deaf community reported that they seldom
receive accurate, informative communication from transit drivers. The
idea developed was to produce a set of pictograms that illustrate
situations that typically arise during fixed-route travel, particularly
those that are difficult to verbally communicate to people who are deaf
or hard of hearing. The pictograms would be laminated and attached to
the bus close to the driver to be readily available when needed. As
with many improvements in accessibility, it is expected that enhanced
communication capability will not only benefit people with hearing
impairments, but will also improve communication with other passengers
with disabilities, such as those who have cognitive impairments. Tri-
Met submitted a proposal to Project ACTION and received funding to
develop a standardized picture language for communicating various
situations that can occur during fixed-route travel. Suggestions for
the type of information to be included in the pictograms were solicited
by from deaf communities across the country. The project also includes
developing a transit personnel training video, created and produced by
people who are deaf, to educate transit drivers about deaf culture.
Another project product is an information booklet that illustrates the
pictograms and hand signals.
In 1980 when Souris Basin Transportation in North Dakota first
started, the illiteracy rate was high among the senior population in
their area of operation. To help them identify the bus on which they
were riding, SBT started using visual logos on the sides of the
vehicles. They have now found that the illiteracy rate has dropped
among the seniors, but the LEP population has grown. Therefore, SBT
kept the logos on the vehicles. SBT has also added volunteers who speak
languages other than English, such as Spanish, German, Norwegian,
Swedish and French. These volunteers are only a phone call away from
the drivers or staff that need help. Most of the volunteers are at the
Minot State University Language Department.
Florida conducts CDL tests in any language needed, and provides
interpreters if needed. Out of service warnings for trucks are issued
in Spanish and English.
The Iowa Department of Transportation provides a Spanish version of
the CDL knowledge test, using a touch screen computer. In addition,
they have worked with Refugee Services of Des Moines, and with a local
community college in educating Bosnian refugees to take the Commercial
Motor Vehicle driving course. DOT especially recommends the idea of
working with local community colleges to educate the LEP community in
transportation matters.

Sample Notice of Availability of Materials and Services

``FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For hearing impaired individuals
or non-English speaking attendees wishing to arrange for a sign
language or foreign language interpreter, please call or fax [name] of
[organization] at Phone: xxx-yyy-zzzz or Fax: xxx-yyy-zzzz.''
If there is a known and substantial LEP population which may be
served by the program discussed in the notice, the notice should be in
the appropriate non-English language.

Resources

U.S. Department of Justice, General LEP Guidance, August 2000.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Limited English
Proficiency Guidance.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ``Cultural
Competence.''
Environmental Protection Agency, ``Draft Translation and
Interpretation Protocol for Promoting Access to EPA Programs, Services,
and Information by Persons With Limited English Proficiency.''
Glossary of Transportation Terms, English-Spanish, 1994, Federal
Highway Administration.
North American Emergency Response Guidebook (NAERG96), published
jointly by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Transport Canada
(TC), and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of
Mexico, in English, French and Spanish.
National Directory of Asian Pacific American Organizations, 1999-
2000, Organization of Chinese Americans, available through Philip
Morris Management Corporation, 120 Park Av., NY, NY 10017.
Southeast Asian American Mutual Assistance Association Directory,
2000, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, 1628 16th St., NW.,
Washington, DC 20009, 202-667-4690, www.searac.org.
Red Cross Language Bank.
``Highway Safety Needs of U.S. Hispanic Communities: Issues and
Strategies,'' NHTSA, September 1995, DOT HS 808 373.
Since 1995, individual border States Division Offices of the
Department's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (formerly the
FHWA Office of Motor Carriers) have translated a number of documents
into Spanish to be used to educate Mexican carriers and drivers
operating in the commercial zones. These subjects covered include
meaning of out-of-service orders, minimum requirements to operate in
the U.S., one page pamphlet that explains

[[Page 6747]]

the U.S. certification program, one page bulletins on various Federal
Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, how to obtain an U.S. DOT vehicle
identification number, and state specific safety regulations. The
following brochures/guidance have been translated into Spanish and are
currently distributed at the border or are being reviewed for possible
distribution at the U.S. Southern border:
FMCSRs--Drivers Guide to the FMCSRs (JJ Keller
Publication).
Drug and Alcohol Regulations (JJ Keller Publication).
HM Basic Awareness Training Course (CD FMCSA Publication).
MX Program Pamphlet (FMCSA Publication) [Currently
Distributed]
Road User Guide for North America (FHWA Publication)
[Currently Distributed in English, Spanish, and French]
Awake At the Wheel (FMCSA Publication) [Currently
Distributed] Materials developed for international use, such as those
developed by FMCSA's ITS/CVO Technology Division for use with border
partners Canada and Mexico. These include its pocket brochure in
English, Spanish, and French. It is also developing Spanish video
scripts.
The Canadian Council of Motor Vehicle Administrators is developing
a trilingual chart for conducting roadside commercial vehicle
inspection.
``La Seguridad de los Materiales Peligrosos,'' (The Safety of
Dangerous Materials), RSPA, DOT.
The International Pictograms Standard, 414 SE Grand Avenue,
Portland, Oregon 97214 USA, (503) 234-1400. ``Making conneXions for the
Transit Customer,'' Breaking down illiteracy and other barriers to
transit travel. A multi-media computer software program to help people
with barriers to literacy become independent transit riders. The
software program includes photos, video and voice narration to help
clients learn how to best use public transit. Clients use the program
at their learning level and pace, on their own, or with the help of a
facilitator.

Data Sources

Census
Public Schools
Community-based organizations
Advocacy and special interest groups
Indian tribes
Immigrant aid organizations
Welfare to Work organizations
Job Access service providers
State Migrant Coordinators
State Refugee Coordinators
Local refugee services organizations
National, regional, and local ethnic advocacy organizations
Unions that represent farmworkers, service workers, and entry
level jobholders
Legal services organizations
Staff of elected officials in areas with substantial national
origin minority communities
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) related demographic
studies
Hispanic Data Handbook
National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education
Center for Applied Linguistics, www.cal.org
Hispanic Ministry of Catholic Dioceses, Catholic Social
Services, Episcopal Bishop's Fund, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and
other faith-based entities that serve LEP people
Language, Demographics and Population Studies Departments at
local universities
Commercial marketing data
Minority marketing firms

Appendix A to DOT Guidance

DOT's Title VI regulation (49 CFR Part 21) states the following,
in part:

Sec. 21.5 Discrimination prohibited.

(a) General. No person in the United States shall, on the
grounds of race, color, or national origin be excluded from
participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise
subjected to discrimination under, any program to which this part
applies.
(b) Specific discriminatory actions prohibited:
(1) A recipient under any program to which this part applies may
not, directly or through contractual or other arrangements, on the
grounds of race, color, or national origin.
(i) Deny a person any service, financial aid, or other benefit
provided under the program;
(ii) Provide any service, financial aid, or other benefit to a
person which is different, or is provided in a different manner,
from that provided to others under the program;
(iii) Subject a person to segregation or separate treatment in
any matter related to his receipt of any service, financial aid, or
other benefit under the program;
(iv) Restrict a person in any way in the enjoyment of any
advantage or privilege enjoyed by others receiving any service,
financial aid, or other benefit under the program;
(vi) Deny a person an opportunity to participate in the program
through the provision of services or otherwise or afford him an
opportunity to do so which is different from that afforded others
under the program; or
(vii) Deny a person the opportunity to participate as a member
of a planning, advisory, or similar body which is an integral part
of the program.
(2) A recipient, in determining the types of services, financial
aid, or other benefits, or facilities which will be provided under
any such program, or the class of person to whom, or the situations
in which, such services, financial aid, other benefits, or
facilities will be provided under any such program, or the class of
persons to be afforded an opportunity to participate in any such
program; may not, directly or through contractual or other
arrangements, utilize criteria or methods of administration which
have the effect of subjecting persons to discrimination because of
their race, color, or national origin, or have the effect of
defeating or substantially impairing accomplishment of the
objectives of the program with respect to individuals of a
particular race, color, or national origin.
(5) The enumeration of specific forms of prohibited
discrimination in this paragraph does not limit the generality of
the prohibition in paragraph (a) of this section.
(7) This part does not prohibit the consideration of race,
color, or national origin if the purpose and effect are to remove or
overcome the consequences of practices or impediments which have
restricted the availability of, or participation in, the program or
activity receiving Federal financial assistance, on the grounds of
race, color, or national origin.

[FR Doc. 01-1745 Filed 1-19-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-62-P



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This page was last updated on January 23, 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

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