Federal Coordination and Compliance Section Publications

 [Federal Register: October 21, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 203)] [Notices]                [Page 64604-64614] From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov] [DOCID:fr21oc02-33]                           ======================================================================= -----------------------------------------------------------------------  CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE    Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding  Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting  Limited English Proficient Persons  AGENCY: Corporation for National and Community Service.  ACTION: Policy guidance document.  -----------------------------------------------------------------------  SUMMARY: The Corporation for National and Community Service  (hereinafter the ``Corporation'') adopts final Guidance to Federal  Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against  National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient  Persons (the Corporation's Recipient LEP Guidance). The Corporation's  Recipient LEP Guidance is issued pursuant to Executive Order 13166, and  supplants existing guidance on the same subject originally published at  66 FR 3548 (January 16, 2001).  DATES: This ``Guidance'' is effective October 21, 2002.  FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Corporation for National and  Community Service, Nancy B. Voss, Director, Equal Opportunity Office,  1201 New York Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20525. Telephone 202-606- 5000, extension 309; TDD: 202-565-2799.  SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under Department of Justice regulations  implementing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d,  et seq. (Title VI), recipients of federal financial assistance have a  responsibility to ensure meaningful access to their programs and  activities by persons with limited English proficiency (LEP). See 28  CFR 42.104(b)(2). Executive Order 13166, reprinted at 65 FR 50121  (August 16, 2000), directs each federal agency that extends assistance  subject to the requirements of Title VI to publish guidance for its  respective recipients clarifying that obligation. Executive Order 13166  further directs that all such guidance documents be consistent with the  compliance standards and framework detailed in Department of Justice  Policy Guidance entitled ``Enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights  Act of 1964--National Origin Discrimination Against Persons with  Limited English Proficiency.'' See 65 FR 50123 (August 16, 2000).     Initial guidance on obligations of recipients of the Corporation to  take reasonable steps to ensure access by LEP persons was published on  January 16, 2001. See 66 FR 3548. That guidance document was  republished for additional public comment on February 5, 2002. See 67  FR 5258.     The Corporation received two comments in response to its February  5, 2002 publication of revised draft guidance on obligations of the  Corporation's recipients to take reasonable steps to ensure access to  programs and activities by LEP persons. The comments reflected the  views of organizations serving LEP populations. While the comments  identified areas for improvement and/or revision, the overall response  to the draft of the Corporation's Recipient LEP Guidance was favorable.     Specific comments suggested strengthening the guidance to ensure  that ``grantee'' includes every entity receiving direct or indirect  federal financial assistance from the Corporation and that all of the  recipient's activities are covered, as well as providing more guidance  to recipients in promoting sub-recipients' compliance and recipients'  liability for failure to do so. Additional comments requested that  grantees be required to document language assistance efforts; that the  balancing test not be used to deny LEP individuals access to important  services; that recipients be provided assistance in determining the  population within which to assess the number of LEP persons without  relying on census data alone; that staff be required to receive  periodic refresher training; that maintaining a written policy for  language access be mandatory rather than advisory and that greater  detail be included regarding policies, such as directing recipients to  post notices and provide a telephone voicemail menu and addressing  goals and accountability; that a ``safe harbor'' for translation of  documents be included; and that translators in addition to community  organizations check translated documents.     Subsequent to the Corporation's publication and republication of  its Guidance, the Corporation received notification from the Department  of Justice that the Corporation should conform its Guidance to guidance  issued by the Department of Justice. By memorandum to federal agencies  received July 8, 2002, Ralph F. Boyd, Jr., Assistant Attorney General,  Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice, stated that it is  critical that agency LEP recipient guidance documents be consistent  with one another. He noted that in its March 14, 2002 Report to  Congress on the Assessment of the Total Benefits and Costs of  Implementing Executive Order Number 13166 (http://www.lep.gov), the  Office of Management and Budget has made it clear that the benefits of  Executive Order 13166 can be substantial, both to the recipients and to  the ultimate beneficiaries. However, OMB also stressed that in order to  reduce costs of compliance, consistency in agency guidance documents is  critical, particularly since many recipients receive assistance from  more than one federal agency. Therefore, Assistant Attorney General  Boyd directed federal agencies to use the Department of Justice's final  guidance to Department of Justice recipients published at 67 FR 41455  on June 18, 2002 as their model for publication or republication of  recipient LEP guidance, modifying examples to make them relevant to the  particular agency's recipients.     Accordingly, the Corporation adopted the Department of Justice's  model in    issuing this final version of the Corporation's Guidance. Therefore, we  are not responding directly to the comments received by the  Corporation. We believe that the Department of Justice fully considered  the issues identified by those commenting on the Corporation's Guidance  when the Department of Justice issued its final guidance.     The text of the Corporation's final guidance document appears  below.     It has been determined that this Guidance, which supplants existing  Guidance on the same subject previously published at 66 FR 3548  (January 16, 2001), does not constitute a regulation subject to the  rulemaking requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C.  553.      Dated: October 15, 2002. Wendy Zenker, Chief Operating Officer.  I. Introduction      Most individuals living in the United States read, write, speak and  understand English. There are many individuals, however, for whom  English is not their primary language. For instance, based on the 2000  census, over 26 million individuals speak Spanish and almost 7 million  individuals speak an Asian or Pacific Island language at home. If these  individuals have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand  English, they are limited English proficient, or ``LEP.'' While  detailed data from the 2000 census has not yet been released, 26% of  all Spanish-speakers, 29.9% of all Chinese-speakers, and 28.2% of all  Vietnamese-speakers reported that they spoke English ``not well'' or  ``not at all'' in response to the 1990 census.     Language for LEP individuals can be a barrier to accessing  important benefits or services, understanding and exercising important  rights, complying with applicable responsibilities, or understanding  other information provided by federally funded programs and activities.  The Federal Government funds an array of services that can be made  accessible to otherwise eligible LEP persons. The Federal Government is  committed to improving the accessibility of these programs and  activities to eligible LEP persons, a goal that reinforces its equally  important commitment to promoting programs and activities designed to  help individuals learn English. Recipients should not overlook the  long-term positive impacts of incorporating or offering English as a  Second Language (ESL) programs in parallel with language assistance  services. ESL courses can serve as an important adjunct to a proper LEP  plan. However, the fact that ESL classes are made available does not  obviate the statutory and regulatory requirement to provide meaningful  access for those who are not yet English proficient. Recipients of  federal financial assistance have an obligation to reduce language  barriers that can preclude meaningful access by LEP persons to  important government services.\1\ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------      \1\ The Corporation recognizes that many recipients had language  assistance programs in place prior to the issuance of Executive  Order 13166. This policy guidance provides a uniform framework for a  recipient to integrate, formalize, and assess the continued vitality  of these existing and possibly additional reasonable efforts based  on the nature of its program or activity, the current needs of the  LEP populations it encounters, and its prior experience in providing  language services in the community it serves. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------      In certain circumstances, failure to ensure that LEP persons can  effectively participate in or benefit from federally assisted programs  and activities may violate the prohibition under Title VI of the Civil  Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d and Title VI regulations against  national origin discrimination. The purpose of this policy guidance is  to assist recipients in fulfilling their responsibilities to provide  meaningful access to LEP persons under existing law. This policy  guidance clarifies existing legal requirements for LEP persons by  providing a description of the factors recipients should consider in  fulfilling their responsibilities to LEP persons.\2\ These are the same  criteria the Corporation will use in evaluating whether recipients are  in compliance with Title VI and Title VI regulations. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------      \2\ The policy guidance is not a regulation but rather a guide.  Title VI and its implementing regulations require that recipients  take responsible steps to ensure meaningful access by LEP persons.  This guidance provides an analytical framework that recipients may  use to determine how best to comply with statutory and regulatory  obligations to provide meaningful access to the benefits, services,  information, and other important portions of their programs and  activities for individuals who are limited English proficient. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------      Many commentators have noted that some have interpreted the case of  Alexander v. Sandoval, 532 U.S. 275 (2001), as impliedly striking down  the regulations promulgated under Title VI that form the basis for the  part of Executive Order 13166 that applies to federally assisted  programs and activities. The Department of Justice has taken the  position that this is not the case, and has reaffirmed its LEP Guidance  to federal grant-making agencies. Accordingly, we will strive to ensure  that federally assisted programs and activities work in a way that is  effective for all eligible beneficiaries, including those with limited  English proficiency.  II. Legal Authority      Section 601 of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.  2000d, provides that no person shall ``on the ground of race, color, or  national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the  benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or  activity receiving Federal financial assistance.'' Section 602  authorizes and directs federal agencies that are empowered to extend  federal financial assistance to any program or activity ``to effectuate  the provisions of [section 601] * * * by issuing rules, regulations, or  orders of general applicability.'' 42 U.S.C. 2000d-1.     Department of Justice regulations promulgated pursuant to section  602 forbid recipients from ``utiliz[ing] criteria or methods of  administration which have the effect of subjecting individuals 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 as respects individuals of a  particular race, color, or national origin.'' 28 CFR 42.104(b)(2). The  Corporation's regulations impose the same prohibitions on recipients.  45 CFR 1203.4.     The Supreme Court, in Lau v. Nichols, 414 U.S. 563 (1974),  interpreted regulations promulgated by the former Department of Health,  Education, and Welfare, including a regulation similar to that of  Department of Justice, 45 CFR 80.3(b)(2), to hold that Title VI  prohibits conduct that has a disproportionate effect on LEP persons  because such conduct constitutes national origin discrimination. In  Lau, a San Francisco school district that had a significant number of  non-English speaking students of Chinese origin was required to take  reasonable steps to provide them with a meaningful opportunity to  participate in federally funded educational programs.     On August 11, 2000, Executive Order 13166 was issued. ``Improving  Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency,'' 65  FR 50121 (August 16, 2000). Under that order, every federal agency that  provides financial assistance to non-federal entities must publish  guidance on how their recipients can provide meaningful access to LEP  persons and thus comply with Title VI regulations forbidding funding  recipients from ``restrict[ing] an individual 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'' or from  ``utiliz[ing] criteria or methods    of administration which have the effect of subjecting individuals 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 as respects individuals of a  particular race, color, or national origin.''     On that same day, Department of Justice issued a general guidance  document addressed to ``Executive Agency Civil Rights Officers''  setting forth general principles for agencies to apply in developing  guidance documents for recipients pursuant to the Executive Order.  ``Enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 National  Origin Discrimination Against Persons With Limited English  Proficiency,'' 65 FR 50123 (August 16, 2000) (Department of Justice  ``LEP Guidance'').     Pursuant to Executive Order 13166, the Corporation developed its  own guidance document for recipients and initially issued it on January  16, 2001. ``Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients  Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination  Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons,'' 66 FR 3548 (January 16,  2001). Subsequent to the Corporation's publication and republication of  its Guidance for further comment on February 5, 2002, the Corporation  received notification from the Department of Justice that the  Corporation should conform its Guidance to guidance issued by the  Department of Justice. By memorandum to federal agencies received July  8, 2002, Ralph F. Boyd, Jr., Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights  Division, Department of Justice, stated that it is critical that agency  LEP recipient guidance documents be consistent with one another.  Assistant Attorney General Boyd directed federal agencies to use the  Department of Justice's final guidance to Department of Justice  recipients published at 67 FR 41455 on June 18, 2002 as their model for  publication or republication of recipient LEP guidance, modifying  examples to make them relevant to the particular agency's recipients.     This guidance document is thus published pursuant to Executive  Order 13166 and supplants the January 16, 2001 publication in light of  Assistant Attorney General Boyd's July 8, 2002 clarifying memorandum.  III. Who Is Covered?      All recipients of federal financial assistance from the Corporation  are required to provide meaningful access to LEP persons.\3\ Federal  financial assistance includes grants, cooperative agreements, training,  technical assistance, use of equipment, donations of surplus property,  and other assistance. A grantee is any entity receiving federal  financial assistance from the Corporation to operate a federally  assisted program. Recipients of the Corporation's assistance include,  for example: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------      \3\ Pursuant to Executive Order 13166, the meaningful access  requirement of the Title VI regulations and the four-factor analysis  set forth in the DOJ LEP Guidance are to additionally apply to the  programs and activities of federal agencies, including the  Corporation.      [sbull] State Commissions.     [sbull] AmeriCorps*VISTA and Senior Corps sponsors.     [sbull] State educational agencies and schools from elementary  through graduate level.     [sbull] AmeriCorps*NCCC projects.     [sbull] Community based organizations, both secular and faith- based.     [sbull] Non-profits, from national organizations such as Boys and  Girls Clubs of America to neighborhood entities such as senior centers.      Subrecipients likewise are covered when federal funds are passed  through from one recipient to a subrecipient.     Coverage extends to a recipient's entire program or activity, i.e.,  to all parts of a recipient's operations. This is true even if only one  part of the recipient receives the federal assistance.\4\ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------      \4\ However, if a federal agency were to decide to terminate  federal funds based on noncompliance with Title VI or its  regulations, only funds directed to the particular program or  activity that is out of compliance would be terminated. 42 U.S.C.  2000d-1. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------      Example: The Corporation provides assistance to a school to  facilitate an after school program. The entire school system'not just  the particular school'is covered.     Finally, some recipients operate in jurisdictions in which English  has been declared the official language. Nonetheless, these recipients  continue to be subject to federal non-discrimination requirements,  including those applicable to the provision of federally assisted  services to persons with limited English proficiency.  IV. Who Is a Limited English Proficient Individual?      Individuals who do not speak English as their primary language and  who have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English  can be limited English proficient, or ``LEP,'' entitled to language  assistance with respect to a particular type of service, benefit, or  encounter.     Examples of populations likely to include LEP persons who are  encountered and/or served by the Corporation's recipients and should be  considered when planning language services include, but are not limited  to:      [sbull] Applicants for or participants enrolled in national service  programs (AmeriCorps, National Senior Service Corps or Learn and Serve  America).     [sbull] Persons receiving services, or eligible to receive,  services performed by participants in national service programs or by  other portions of the recipient's program or activity.  V. How Does a Recipient Determine the Extent of Its Obligation To  Provide LEP Services?      Recipients are required to take reasonable steps to ensure  meaningful access to their programs and activities by LEP persons.  While designed to be a flexible and fact-dependent standard, the  starting point is an individualized assessment that balances the  following four factors: (1) The number or proportion of LEP persons  eligible to be served or likely to be encountered by the program or  grantee; (2) the frequency with which LEP individuals come in contact  with the program; (3) the nature and importance of the program,  activity, or service provided by the program to people's lives; and (4)  the resources available to the grantee/recipient and costs. As  indicated above, the intent of this guidance is to suggest a balance  that ensures meaningful access by LEP persons to critical services  while not imposing undue burdens on small business, small local  governments, or small nonprofits.     After applying the above four-factor analysis, a recipient may  conclude that different language assistance measures are sufficient for  the different types of programs or activities in which it engages. For  instance, some of a recipient's activities will be more important than  others and/or have greater impact on or contact with LEP persons, and  thus may require more in the way of language assistance. The  flexibility that recipients have in addressing the needs of the LEP  populations they serve does not diminish, and should not be used to  minimize, the obligation that those needs be addressed. Recipients of  the Corporation should apply the following four factors to the various  kinds of contacts that they have with the public to assess language  needs and decide what reasonable steps they should take to ensure  meaningful access for LEP persons.    (1) The Number or Proportion of LEP Persons Served or Encountered in  the Eligible Service Population     One factor in determining what language services recipients should  provide is the number or proportion of LEP persons from a particular  language group served or encountered in the eligible service  population. The greater the number or proportion of these LEP persons,  the more likely language services are needed. Ordinarily, persons  ``eligible to be served, or likely to be directly affected, by'' a  recipient's program or activity are those who are served or encountered  in the eligible service population. This population will be program- specific, and includes persons who are in the geographic area that has  been approved by a federal grant agency as the recipient's service  area. However, where, for instance, a State Commission serves a large  LEP population, the appropriate service area is most likely the  geographic service areas or operating sites defined in the  Corporation's grant applications, and not the entire state. Where no  service area has previously been approved, the relevant service area  may be that which is approved by state or local authorities or  designated by the recipient itself, provided that these designations do  not themselves discriminatorily exclude certain populations.     Recipients should first examine their prior experiences with LEP  encounters and determine the breadth and scope of language services  that were needed. In conducting this analysis, it is important to  include language minority populations that are eligible for their  programs or activities but may be underserved because of existing  language barriers. Other data should be consulted to refine or validate  a recipient's prior experience, including the latest census data for  the area served, data from school systems and from community  organizations, and data from state and local governments.\5\ Community  agencies, school systems, religious organizations, legal aid entities,  and others can often assist in identifying populations for whom  outreach is needed and who would benefit from the recipients' programs  and activities were language services provided. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------      \5\ The focus of the analysis is on lack of English proficiency,  not the ability to speak more than one language. Note that  demographic data may indicate the most frequently spoken languages  other than English and the percentage of people who speak that  language who speak or understand English less than well. Some of the  most commonly spoken languages other than English may be spoken by  people who are also overwhelmingly proficient in English. Thus, they  may not be the languages spoken most frequently by limited English  proficient individuals. When using demographic data, it is important  to focus in on the languages spoken by those who are not proficient  in English. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------  (2) The Frequency With Which LEP Individuals Come in Contact With the  Program     Recipients should assess, as accurately as possible, the frequency  with which they have or should have contact with an LEP individual from  different language groups seeking assistance. The more frequent the  contact with a particular language group, the more likely that enhanced  language services in that language are needed. The steps that are  reasonable for a recipient that serves an LEP person on a one-time  basis will be very different than those expected from a recipient that  serves LEP persons daily. It is also advisable to consider the  frequency of different types of language contacts. For example,  frequent contacts with Spanish-speaking people who are LEP may require  certain assistance in Spanish. Less frequent contact with different  language groups may suggest a different and less intensified solution.  If an LEP individual accesses a program or service on a daily basis, a  recipient has greater duties than if the same individual's program or  activity contact is unpredictable or infrequent. But even recipients  that serve LEP persons on an unpredictable or infrequent basis should  use this balancing analysis to determine what to do if an LEP  individual seeks services under the program in question. This plan need  not be intricate. It may be as simple as being prepared to use one of  the commercially-available telephonic interpretation services to obtain  immediate interpreter services. In applying this standard, recipients  should take care to consider whether appropriate outreach to LEP  persons could increase the frequency of contact with LEP language  groups. (3) The Nature and Importance of the Program, Activity, or Service  Provided by the Program     The more important the activity, information, service, or program,  or the greater the possible consequences of the contact to the LEP  individuals, the more likely language services are needed. The  obligations to communicate information in situations involving health  and safety (such as home visits to the frail elderly, vaccinations and  immunizations, maternal health screening); disaster response; homeland  security; legal rights (such as assisting persons preparing to apply  for citizenship or enrolling for government or social services) differ,  for example, from those to provide recreational programming. A  recipient needs to determine whether denial or delay of access to  services or information could have serious or even life-threatening  implications for the LEP individual. (4) The Resources Available to the Recipient and Costs     A recipient's level of resources and the costs that would be  imposed on it may have an impact on the nature of the steps it should  take. Smaller recipients with more limited budgets are not expected to  provide the same level of language services as larger recipients with  larger budgets. In addition, ``reasonable steps'' may cease to be  reasonable where the costs imposed substantially exceed the benefits.     Resource and cost issues, however, can often be reduced by  technological advances; the sharing of language assistance materials  and services among and between recipients, advocacy groups, and Federal  grant agencies; and reasonable business practices. Where appropriate,  training bilingual staff to act as interpreters and translators,  information sharing through industry groups, telephonic and video  conferencing interpretation services, pooling resources and  standardizing documents to reduce translation needs, using qualified  translators and interpreters to ensure that documents need not be  ``fixed'' later and that inaccurate interpretations do not cause delay  or other costs, centralizing interpreter and translator services to  achieve economies of scale, or the formalized use of qualified  community volunteers, for example, may help reduce costs.\6\ Recipients  should carefully explore the most cost-effective means of delivering  competent and accurate language services before limiting services due  to resource concerns. Large entities and those entities serving a  significant number or proportion of LEP persons should ensure that  their resource limitations are well-substantiated before using this  factor as a reason to limit language assistance. Such recipients may  find it useful to be able to articulate, through documentation or in  some other reasonable manner, their process for determining that  language services would be limited based on resources or costs. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------      \6\ Small recipients with limited resources may find that  entering into a bulk telephonic interpretation service contract will  prove cost effective. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------      This four-factor analysis necessarily implicates the ``mix'' of LEP  services required. Recipients have two main ways to provide language  services: Oral    interpretation either in person or via telephone interpretation service  (hereinafter ``interpretation'') and written translation (hereinafter  ``translation''). Oral interpretation can range from on-site  interpreters for critical services provided to a high volume of LEP  persons to access through commercially-available telephonic  interpretation services. Written translation, likewise, can range from  translation of an entire document to translation of a short description  of the document. In some cases, language services should be made  available on an expedited basis while in others the LEP individual may  be referred to another office of the recipient for language assistance.     The correct mix should be based on what is both necessary and  reasonable in light of the four-factor analysis. For instance, programs  focusing on providing critical services to immigrants and refugees,  such as providing assistance with enrollment in public services or  access to emergency or medical care, may need immediate oral  interpreters available and should give serious consideration to hiring  some bilingual staff. (Of course, many recipients focusing on serving  LEP populations have already made such arrangements.) In contrast,  there may be circumstances where the importance and nature of the  activity and number or proportion and frequency of contact with LEP  persons may be low and the costs and resources needed to provide  language services may be high--such as in the case of a voluntary  general public tour of a public facility--in which pre-arranged  language services for the particular service may not be necessary.  Regardless of the type of language service provided, quality and  accuracy of those services can be critical in order to avoid serious  consequences to the LEP person and to the recipient. Recipients have  substantial flexibility in determining the appropriate mix.  VI. Selecting Language Assistance Services      Recipients have two main ways to provide language services: oral  and written language services. Quality and accuracy of the language  service is critical in order to avoid serious consequences to the LEP  person and to the recipient.  A. Oral Language Services (Interpretation)      Interpretation is the act of listening to something in one language  (source language) and orally translating it into another language  (target language). Where interpretation is needed and is reasonable,  recipients should consider some or all of the following options for  providing competent interpreters in a timely manner:     Competence of Interpreters. When providing oral assistance,  recipients should ensure competency of the language service provider,  no matter which of the strategies outlined below are used. Competency  requires more than self-identification as bilingual. Some bilingual  staff and community volunteers, for instance, may be able to  communicate effectively in a different language when communicating  information directly in that language, but not be competent to  interpret in and out of English. Likewise, they may not be able to do  written translations.     Competency to interpret, however, does not necessarily mean formal  certification as an interpreter, although certification is helpful.  When using interpreters, recipients should ensure that they:     Demonstrate proficiency in and ability to communicate information  accurately in both English and in the other language and identify and  employ the appropriate mode of interpreting (e.g., consecutive,  simultaneous, summarization, or sight translation); Have knowledge in  both languages of any specialized terms or concepts peculiar to the  entity's program or activity and of any particularized vocabulary and  phraseology used by the LEP person; \7\ and understand and follow  confidentiality and impartiality rules to the same extent the recipient  employee for whom they are interpreting and/or to the extent their  position requires. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------      \7\ Many languages have ``regionalisms,'' or differences in  usage. For instance, a word that may be understood to mean something  in Spanish for someone from Cuba may not be so understood by someone  from Mexico. In addition, because there may be languages which do  not have an appropriate direct interpretation of some legal terms  and the interpreter should be so aware and be able to provide the  most appropriate interpretation. The interpreter should likely make  the recipient aware of the issue and the interpreter and recipient  can then work to develop a consistent and appropriate set of  descriptions of these terms in that language that can be used again,  when appropriate. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------      Understand and adhere to their role as interpreters without  deviating into a role as counselor, legal advisor, or other roles  (particularly in contacts with health care providers, social services,  schools, and public services).     Some recipients, such as those dealing with assisting indigents  dependent on the recipient for interpretation with health care  providers, law enforcement or administrative boards, may have  additional self-imposed requirements for interpreters. Where such  proceedings are lengthy, the interpreter will likely need breaks and  team interpreting may be appropriate to ensure accuracy and to prevent  errors caused by mental fatigue of interpreters.     While quality and accuracy of language services is critical, the  quality and accuracy of language services is nonetheless part of the  appropriate mix of LEP services required. The quality and accuracy of  language services in a hospital emergency room, for example, must be  extraordinarily high, while the quality and accuracy of language  services in a bicycle safety class need not meet the same exacting  standards.     Finally, when interpretation is needed and is reasonable, it should  be provided in a timely manner. To be meaningfully effective, language  assistance should be timely. While there is no single definition for  ``timely'' applicable to all types of interactions at all times by all  types of recipients, one clear guide is that the language assistance  should be provided at a time and place that avoids the effective denial  of the service, benefit, or right at issue or the imposition of an  undue burden on or delay in important rights, benefits, or services to  the LEP person. For example, when the timeliness of services is  important, such as with certain activities of recipients providing  health and safety services or disaster response, and when important  rights are at issue, a recipient would likely not be providing  meaningful access if it had one bilingual staffer available one day a  week to provide the service. Such conduct would likely result in delays  for LEP persons that would be significantly greater than those for  English proficient persons. Conversely, where access to or exercise of  a service, benefit, or right is not effectively precluded by a  reasonable delay, language assistance can likely be delayed for a  reasonable period.     Hiring Bilingual Staff. When particular languages are encountered  often, hiring bilingual staff offers one of the best, and often most  economical, options. Recipients can, for example, fill public contact  positions, such teachers, service providers, or program directors, with  staff who are bilingual and competent to communicate directly with LEP  persons in their language. If bilingual staff are also used to  interpret between English speakers and LEP persons, or to orally  interpret written documents from English into another language, they  should be competent in the skill of interpreting. Being bilingual does  not necessarily mean that a person has the ability to interpret. In  addition, there may be times when the role of the    bilingual employee may conflict with the role of an interpreter.  Effective management strategies, including any appropriate adjustments  in assignments and protocols for using bilingual staff, can ensure that  bilingual staff are fully and appropriately utilized. When bilingual  staff cannot meet all of the language service obligations of the  recipient, the recipient should turn to other options.     Hiring Staff Interpreters. Hiring interpreters may be most helpful  where there is a frequent need for interpreting services in one or more  languages. Depending on the facts, sometimes it may be necessary and  reasonable to provide on-site interpreters to provide accurate and  meaningful communication with an LEP person.     Contracting for Interpreters. Contract interpreters may be a cost- effective option when there is no regular need for a particular  language skill. In addition to commercial and other private providers,  many community-based organizations and mutual assistance associations  provide interpretation services for particular languages. Contracting  with and providing training regarding the recipient's programs and  processes to these organizations can be a cost-effective option for  providing language services to LEP persons from those language groups.     Using Telephone Interpreter Lines. Telephone interpreter service  lines often offer speedy interpreting assistance in many different  languages. They may be particularly appropriate where the mode of  communicating with an English proficient person would also be over the  phone.     Although telephonic interpretation services are useful in many  situations, it is important to ensure that, when using such services,  the interpreters used are competent to interpret any technical or legal  terms specific to a particular program that may be important parts of  the conversation. Nuances in language and non-verbal communication can  often assist an interpreter and cannot be recognized over the phone.  Video teleconferencing may sometimes help to resolve this issue where  necessary. In addition, where documents are being discussed, it is  important to give telephonic interpreters adequate opportunity to  review the document prior to the discussion and any logistical problems  should be addressed.     Using Community Volunteers. In addition to consideration of  bilingual staff, staff interpreters, or contract interpreters (either  in-person or by telephone) as options to ensure meaningful access by  LEP persons, use of recipient-coordinated community volunteers, working  with, for instance, community-based organizations may provide a cost- effective supplemental language assistance strategy under appropriate  circumstances. They may be particularly useful in providing language  access for a recipient's less critical programs and activities. To the  extent the recipient relies on community volunteers, it is often best  to use volunteers who are trained in the information or services of the  program and can communicate directly with LEP persons in their  language. Just as with all interpreters, community volunteers used to  interpret between English speakers and LEP persons, or to orally  translate documents, should be competent in the skill of interpreting  and knowledgeable about applicable confidentiality and impartiality  rules. Recipients should consider formal arrangements with community- based organizations that provide volunteers to address these concerns  and to help ensure that services are available more regularly.     Use of Family Members or Friends as Interpreters. Although  recipients should not plan to rely on an LEP person's family members,  friends, or other informal interpreters to provide meaningful access to  important programs and activities, where LEP persons so desire, they  should be permitted to use, at their own expense, an interpreter of  their own choosing (whether a professional interpreter, family member  or friend) in place of or as a supplement to the free language services  expressly offered by the recipient. LEP persons may feel more  comfortable when a trusted family member or friend acts as an  interpreter. In addition, in exigent circumstances that are not  reasonably foreseeable, temporary use of interpreters not provided by  the recipient may be necessary. However, with proper planning and  implementation, recipients should be able to avoid most such  situations.     Recipients, however, should take special care to ensure that  family, legal guardians, caretakers, and other informal interpreters  are appropriate in light of the circumstances and subject matter of the  program, service or activity, including protection of the recipient's  own interest in accurate interpretation. In many circumstances, family  members (especially children) or friends are not competent to provide  quality and accurate interpretations. Issues of confidentiality,  privacy, or conflict of interest may also arise. LEP individuals may  feel uncomfortable revealing or describing sensitive, confidential, or  potentially embarrassing medical, law enforcement (e.g., sexual or  violent assaults), family, or financial information to a family member,  friend, or member of the local community. In addition, such informal  interpreters may have a personal connection to the LEP person or an  undisclosed conflict of interest, such as the desire to protect  themselves or another perpetrator in a domestic violence or other  criminal matter. For these reasons, when oral language services are  necessary, recipients should generally offer competent interpreter  services free of cost to the LEP person. For the Corporation's  recipient programs and activities, this is particularly true in  situations in which health, safety, or access to important benefits and  services are at stake, or when credibility and accuracy are important  to protect an individual's rights and access to important services.     While issues of competency, confidentiality, and conflict of  interest in the use of family members (especially children) or friends  often make their use inappropriate, the use of these individuals as  interpreters may be an appropriate option where proper application of  the four factors would lead to a conclusion that recipient-provided  services are not necessary. An example of this is a voluntary  educational tour of a public facility offered to the public. There, the  importance and nature of the activity may be relatively low and  unlikely to implicate issues of confidentiality, conflict of interest,  or the need for accuracy. In addition, the resources needed and costs  of providing language services may be high. In such a setting, an LEP  person's use of family, friends, or others may be appropriate.     If the LEP person voluntarily chooses to provide his or her own  interpreter, a recipient should consider whether a record of that  choice and of the recipient's offer of assistance is appropriate. Where  precise, complete, and accurate interpretations or translations of  information and/or testimony are critical for medical or legal reasons,  or where the competency of the LEP person's interpreter is not  established, a recipient might decide to provide its own, independent  interpreter, even if an LEP person wants to use his or her own  interpreter as well. Extra caution should be exercised when the LEP  person chooses to use a minor as the interpreter. While the LEP  person's decision should be respected, there may be additional issues  of competency, confidentiality, or conflict of interest when the choice  involves using children as interpreters. The recipient should take care  to ensure that    the LEP person's choice is voluntary, that the LEP person is aware of  the possible problems if the preferred interpreter is a minor child,  and that the LEP person knows that a competent interpreter could be  provided by the recipient at no cost.  B. Written Language Services (Translation)      Translation is the replacement of a written text from one language  (source language) into an equivalent written text in another language  (target language).     What Documents Should be Translated? After applying the four-factor  analysis, a recipient may determine that an effective LEP plan for its  particular program or activity includes the translation of vital  written materials into the language of each frequently-encountered LEP  group eligible to be served and/or likely to be affected by the  recipient's program.     Such written materials could include, for example:     [sbull] Applications for benefits or services;     [sbull] Consent forms;     [sbull] Documents containing important information regarding  participation in a program (such as descriptions of eligibility for  tutoring, assignment of a Senior Companion, instructions for filing for  reimbursement of expenses, application for health care or child care  benefits);     [sbull] Notices pertaining to the reduction, denial or termination  of services or benefits, or to the right to appeal such actions or that  require a response from beneficiaries;     [sbull] The member contract, job description, and an explanation of  the Grievance Procedure;     [sbull] Notices advising LEP persons of the availability of free  language assistance; and     [sbull] Other outreach materials.     Whether or not a document (or the information it solicits) is  ``vital'' may depend upon the importance of the program, information,  encounter, or service involved, and the consequence to the LEP person  if the information in question is not provided accurately or in a  timely manner. For instance, applications for bicycle safety courses  should not generally be considered vital, whereas applications for  benefits regarding disaster relief, medical services or housing could  be considered vital. Where appropriate, recipients are encouraged to  create a plan for consistently determining, over time and across its  various activities, what documents are ``vital'' to the meaningful  access of the LEP populations they serve.     Classifying a document as vital or non-vital is sometimes  difficult, especially in the case of outreach materials like brochures  or other information on rights and services. Awareness of rights or  services is an important part of ``meaningful access.'' Lack of  awareness that a particular program, right, or service exists may  effectively deny LEP individuals meaningful access. Thus, where a  recipient is engaged in community outreach activities in furtherance of  its activities, it should regularly assess the needs of the populations  frequently encountered or affected by the program or activity to  determine whether certain critical outreach materials should be  translated. Community organizations may be helpful in determining what  outreach materials may be most helpful to translate. In addition, the  recipient should consider whether translations of outreach material may  be made more effective when done in tandem with other outreach methods,  including utilizing the ethnic media, schools, religious, and community  organizations to spread a message.     Sometimes a document includes both vital and non-vital information.  This may be the case when the document is very large. It may also be  the case when the title and a phone number for obtaining more  information on the contents of the document in frequently-encountered  languages other than English is critical, but the document is sent out  to the general public and cannot reasonably be translated into many  languages. Thus, vital information may include, for instance, the  provision of information in appropriate languages other than English  regarding where a LEP person might obtain an interpretation or  translation of the document.     Into What Languages Should Documents be Translated? The languages  spoken by the LEP individuals with whom the recipient has contact  determine the languages into which vital documents should be  translated. A distinction should be made, however, between languages  that are frequently encountered by a recipient and less commonly- encountered languages. Many recipients serve communities in large  cities or across the country. They regularly serve LEP persons who  speak dozens and sometimes over 100 different languages. To translate  all written materials into all of those languages is unrealistic.  Although recent technological advances have made it easier for  recipients to store and share translated documents, such an undertaking  would incur substantial costs and require substantial resources.     Nevertheless, well-substantiated claims of lack of resources to  translate all vital documents into dozens of languages do not  necessarily relieve the recipient of the obligation to translate those  documents into at least several of the more frequently-encountered  languages and to set benchmarks for continued translations into the  remaining languages over time. As a result, the extent of the  recipient's obligation to provide written translations of documents  should be determined by the recipient on a case-by-case basis, looking  at the totality of the circumstances in light of the four-factor  analysis. Because translation is a one-time expense, consideration  should be given to whether the upfront cost of translating a document  (as opposed to oral interpretation) should be amortized over the likely  lifespan of the document when applying this four-factor analysis.     Safe Harbor. Many recipients would like to ensure with greater  certainty that they comply with their obligations to provide written  translations in languages other than English. Paragraphs (a) and (b)  outline the circumstances that can provide a ``safe harbor'' for  recipients regarding the requirements for translation of written  materials. A ``safe harbor'' means that if a recipient provides written  translations under these circumstances, such action will be considered  strong evidence of compliance with the recipient's written-translation  obligations.     The failure to provide written translations under the circumstances  outlined in paragraphs (a) and (b) does not mean there is non- compliance. Rather, they provide a common starting point for recipients  to consider whether and at what point the importance of the service,  benefit, or activity involved; the nature of the information sought;  and the number or proportion of LEP persons served call for written  translations of commonly-used forms into frequently-encountered  languages other than English. Thus, these paragraphs merely provide a  guide for recipients that would like greater certainty of compliance  than can be provided by a fact-intensive, four-factor analysis.     Example: Even if the safe harbors are not used, if written  translation of a certain document(s) would be so burdensome as to  defeat the legitimate objectives of its program, the translation of the  written materials is not necessary. Other ways of providing meaningful  access, such as effective oral interpretation of certain vital    documents, might be acceptable under such circumstances.     Safe Harbor. The following actions will be considered strong  evidence of compliance with the recipient's written-translation  obligations:     (a) The Corporation recipient provides written translations of  vital documents for each eligible LEP language group that constitutes  five percent or 1,000, whichever is less, of the population of persons  eligible to be served or likely to be affected or encountered.  Translation of other documents, if needed, can be provided orally; or     (b) If there are fewer than 50 persons in a language group that  reaches the five percent trigger in (a), the recipient does not  translate vital written materials but provides written notice in the  primary language of the LEP language group of the right to receive  competent oral interpretation of those written materials, free of cost.     These safe harbor provisions apply to the translation of written  documents only. They do not affect the requirement to provide  meaningful access to LEP individuals through competent oral  interpreters where oral language services are needed and are  reasonable. For example, programs that address the needs of immigrants  and refugees who may not be literate should, where appropriate, ensure  that crucial information regarding medical, financial or legal rights  have been explained.     Competence of Translators. As with oral interpreters, translators  of written documents should be competent. Many of the same  considerations apply. However, the skill of translating is very  different from the skill of interpreting, and a person who is a  competent interpreter may or may not be competent to translate.     Particularly where medical, legal or other vital documents are  being translated, competence can often be achieved by use of certified  translators. Certification or accreditation may not always be possible  or necessary.\8\ Competence can often be ensured by having a second,  independent translator ``check'' the work of the primary translator.  Alternatively, one translator can translate the document, and a second,  independent translator could translate it back into English to check  that the appropriate meaning has been conveyed. This is called ``back  translation.'' ---------------------------------------------------------------------------      \8\ For those languages in which no formal accreditation  currently exists, a particular level of membership in a professional  translation association can provide some indicator of  professionalism. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------      Translators should understand the expected reading level of the  audience and, where appropriate, have fundamental knowledge about the  target language group's vocabulary and phraseology. Sometimes direct  translation of materials results in a translation that is written at a  much more difficult level than the English language version or has no  relevant equivalent meaning.\9\ Community organizations may be able to  help consider whether a document is written at a good level for the  audience. Likewise, consistency in the words and phrases used to  translate terms of art, legal, or other technical concepts helps avoid  confusion by LEP individuals and may reduce costs. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------      \9\ For instance, there may be languages which do not have an  appropriate direct translation of some legal terms and the  translator should be able to provide an appropriate translation. The  translator should likely also make the recipient aware of this.  Recipients can then work with translators to develop a consistent  and appropriate set of descriptions of these terms in that language  that can be used again, when appropriate. Recipients will find it  more effective and less costly if they try to maintain consistency  in the words and phrases used to translate terms of art and legal or  other technical concepts. Creating or using already-created  glossaries of commonly used terms may be useful for LEP persons and  translators and cost effective for the recipient. Providing  translators with examples of previous translations of similar  material by the recipient, other recipients, or federal agencies may  be helpful. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------      While quality and accuracy of translation services is critical, the  quality and accuracy of translation services is nonetheless part of the  appropriate mix of LEP services required. For instance, documents that  are simple and have no legal or other consequence for LEP persons who  rely on them may use translators that are less skilled than important  documents with legal or other information upon which reliance has  important consequences (including, e.g., information or documents of  recipients regarding certain health and safety services and certain  legal rights). The permanent nature of written translations, however,  imposes additional responsibility on the recipient to ensure that the  quality and accuracy permit meaningful access by LEP persons.  VII. Elements of Effective Plan on Language Assistance for LEP Persons      After completing the four-factor analysis and deciding what  language assistance services are appropriate, a recipient should  develop an implementation plan to address the identified needs of the  LEP populations they serve. Recipients have considerable flexibility in  developing this plan. The development and maintenance of a  periodically-updated written plan on language assistance for LEP  persons (``LEP plan'') for use by recipient employees serving the  public will likely be the most appropriate and cost-effective means of  documenting compliance and providing a framework for the provision of  timely and reasonable language assistance.     Moreover, such written plans would likely provide additional  benefits to a recipient's managers in the areas of training,  administration, planning, and budgeting. These benefits should lead  most recipients to document in a written LEP plan their language  assistance services, and how staff and LEP persons can access those  services. Despite these benefits, certain recipients of the  Corporation, such as recipients serving very few LEP persons and  recipients with very limited resources, may choose not to develop a  written LEP plan. However, the absence of a written LEP plan does not  obviate the underlying obligation to ensure meaningful access by LEP  persons to a recipient's program or activities. Accordingly, in the  event that a recipient elects not to develop a written plan, it should  consider alternative ways to articulate in some other reasonable manner  a plan for providing meaningful access. Entities having significant  contact with LEP persons, such as schools, religious organizations,  community groups, and groups working with new immigrants can be very  helpful in providing important input into this planning process from  the beginning.     The following five steps may be helpful in designing an LEP plan  and are typically part of effective implementation plans. (1) Identifying LEP Individuals Who Need Language Assistance     The first two factors in the four-factor analysis require an  assessment of the number or proportion of LEP individuals eligible to  be served or encountered and the frequency of encounters. This requires  recipients to identify LEP persons with whom it has contact.     One way to determine the language of communication is to use  language identification cards (or ``I speak cards''), which invite LEP  persons to identify their language needs to staff. Such cards, for  instance, might say ``I speak Spanish'' in both Spanish and English,  ``I speak Vietnamese'' in both English and Vietnamese, etc. To reduce  costs of compliance, the federal government has made a set of these  cards available on the Internet. The Census Bureau ``I speak card'' can  be found and downloaded at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/cor/13166.htm. When  records are    normally kept of past interactions with members of the public, the  language of the LEP person can be included as part of the record. In  addition to helping employees identify the language of LEP persons they  encounter, this process will help in future applications of the first  two factors of the four-factor analysis. In addition, posting notices  in commonly encountered languages notifying LEP persons of language  assistance will encourage them to self-identify. (2) Language Assistance Measures     An effective LEP plan would likely include information about the  ways in which language assistance will be provided. For instance,  recipients may want to include information on at least the following:     [sbull] Types of language services available.     [sbull] How staff can obtain those services.     [sbull] How to respond to LEP callers.     [sbull] How to respond to written communications from LEP persons.     [sbull] How to respond to LEP individuals who have in-person  contact with recipient staff.     [sbull] How to ensure competency of interpreters and translation  services. (3) Training Staff     Staff should know their obligations to provide meaningful access to  information and services for LEP persons. An effective LEP plan would  likely include training to ensure that:     [sbull] Staff know about LEP policies and procedures.     [sbull] Staff having contact with the public are trained to work  effectively with in-person and telephone interpreters.     Recipients may want to include this training as part of the  orientation for new employees. It is important to ensure that all  employees in public contact positions are properly trained. Recipients  have flexibility in deciding the manner in which the training is  provided. The more frequent the contact with LEP persons, the greater  the need will be for in-depth training. Staff with little or no contact  with LEP persons may only have to be aware of an LEP plan. However,  management staff, even if they do not interact regularly with LEP  persons, should be fully aware of and understand the plan so they can  reinforce its importance and ensure its implementation by staff. (4) Providing Notice to LEP Persons     Once an agency has decided, based on the four factors, that it will  provide language services, it is important for the recipient to let LEP  persons know that those services are available and that they are free  of charge. Recipients should provide this notice in a language LEP  persons will understand. Examples of notification that recipients  should consider include:     [sbull] Posting signs in intake areas and other entry points. When  language assistance is needed to ensure meaningful access to  information and services, it is important to provide notice in  appropriate languages in intake areas or initial points of contact so  that LEP persons can learn how to access those language services. This  is particularly true in areas with high volumes of LEP persons seeking  access to certain services or activities run by recipients of the  Corporation dealing with assisting individuals in accessing health,  safety or social services. For instance, signs in intake offices could  state that free language assistance is available. The signs should be  translated into the most common languages encountered. They should  explain how to get the language help.\10\ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------      \10\ The Social Security Administration has made such signs  available at http://www.ssa.gov/multilanguage/langlist1.htm. These  signs could, for example, be modified for recipient use. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------      [sbull] Stating in outreach documents that language services are  available from the agency. Announcements could be in, for instance,  brochures, booklets, and in outreach and recruitment information. These  statements should be translated into the most common languages and  could be ``tagged'' onto the front of common documents.     [sbull] Working with community-based organizations and other  stakeholders to inform LEP individuals of the recipients' services,  including the availability of language assistance services.     [sbull] Using a telephone voice mail menu. The menu could be in the  most common languages encountered. It should provide information about  available language assistance services and how to get them.     [sbull] Including notices in local newspapers in languages other  than English.     [sbull] Providing notices on non-English-language radio and  television stations about the available language assistance services  and how to get them.     [sbull] Presentations and/or notices at schools and religious  organizations. (5) Monitoring and Updating the LEP Plan     Recipients should, where appropriate, have a process for  determining, on an ongoing basis, whether new documents, programs,  services, and activities need to be made accessible for LEP  individuals, and they may want to provide notice of any changes in  services to the LEP public and to employees. In addition, recipients  should consider whether changes in demographics, types of services, or  other needs require annual reevaluation of their LEP plan. Less  frequent reevaluation may be more appropriate where demographics,  services, and needs are more static. One good way to evaluate the LEP  plan is to seek feedback from the community.     In their reviews, recipients may want to consider assessing changes  in:     [sbull] Current LEP populations in service area or population  affected or encountered.     [sbull] Frequency of encounters with LEP language groups.     [sbull] Nature and importance of activities to LEP persons.     [sbull] Availability of resources, including technological advances  and sources of additional resources, and the costs imposed.     [sbull] Whether existing assistance is meeting the needs of LEP  persons.     [sbull] Whether staff knows and understands the LEP plan and how to  implement it.     [sbull] Whether identified sources for assistance are still  available and viable.     In addition to these five elements, effective plans set clear  goals, management accountability, and opportunities for community input  and planning throughout the process.  VIII. Voluntary Compliance Effort      The goal for Title VI and Title VI regulatory enforcement is to  achieve voluntary compliance. The requirement to provide meaningful  access to LEP persons is enforced and implemented by the Corporation  through the procedures identified in the Title VI regulations. These  procedures include complaint investigations, compliance reviews,  efforts to secure voluntary compliance, and technical assistance.     The Title VI regulations provide that the Corporation will  investigate whenever it receives a complaint, report, or other  information that alleges or indicates possible noncompliance with Title  VI or its regulations. If the investigation results in a finding of  compliance, the Corporation will inform the recipient in writing of  this determination, including the basis for the determination. The  Corporation uses voluntary mediation to resolve most complaints.  However, if a case is fully investigated and results in a finding of  noncompliance, the Corporation 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. It must attempt to secure voluntary compliance through  informal means. If the matter cannot be resolved informally, the  Corporation must secure compliance through the termination of federal  assistance after the Corporation recipient has been given an  opportunity for an administrative hearing and/or by referring the  matter to the Department of Justice to seek injunctive relief or pursue  other enforcement proceedings.     The Corporation engages in voluntary compliance efforts and  provides technical assistance to recipients at all stages of an  investigation. During these efforts, the Corporation proposes  reasonable timetables for achieving compliance and consults with and  assists recipients in exploring cost-effective ways of coming into  compliance. In determining a recipient's compliance with the Title VI  regulations, the Corporation's primary concern is to ensure that the  recipient's policies and procedures provide meaningful access for LEP  persons to the recipient's programs and activities.     While all recipients must work toward building systems that will  ensure access for LEP individuals, the Corporation acknowledges that  the implementation of a comprehensive system to serve LEP individuals  is a process and that a system will evolve over time as it is  implemented and periodically reevaluated. As recipients take reasonable  steps to provide meaningful access to federally assisted programs and  activities for LEP persons, the Corporation will look favorably on  intermediate steps recipients take that are consistent with this  Guidance, and that, as part of a broader implementation plan or  schedule, move their service delivery system toward providing full  access to LEP persons.     This does not excuse noncompliance but instead recognizes that full  compliance in all areas of a recipient's activities and for all  potential language minority groups may reasonably require a series of  implementing actions over a period of time. However, in developing any  phased implementation schedule, recipients of the Corporation should  ensure that the provision of appropriate assistance for significant LEP  populations or with respect to activities having a significant impact  on the health, safety, legal rights, or livelihood of beneficiaries is  addressed first. Recipients are encouraged to document their efforts to  provide LEP persons with meaningful access to federally assisted  programs and activities.  IX. Promising Practices      This section provides examples of promising practices that  recipients engage in using the federal financial assistance (the  national service volunteers) provided by the Corporation. Recipient  programs are responsible for ensuring meaningful access to all portions  of their program or activity, not just the portions in which national  service participants serve. So long as the language services are  accurate, timely, and appropriate in the manner outlined in this  guidance, the types of promising practices summarized below can assist  recipients in meeting the meaningful access requirements of Title VI  and the Title VI regulations. Examples of Promising Practices That Provide Access to LEP Persons     The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs AmeriCorps  program recruits former farmworkers to serve as AmeriCorps members.  Most members are bilingual, and many are LEP. Members are encouraged to  take English as a Second Language classes as a part of their member  development plan. The program provides pesticide safety training to  farmworkers and their families. Members conduct the training in  Spanish.     The program uses the following techniques to ensure that members  understand their terms of service and benefits:     [sbull] Recruiting posters, flyers and the Member Service Contract  are provided in Spanish.     [sbull] AmeriCorps project staff are bilingual (Spanish/English).     [sbull] Orientation training is provided in Spanish and English.     [sbull] Conference calls are held in Spanish when all members speak  Spanish.     [sbull] Two bilingual second-year members led a team of members  that communicated about their service projects exclusively in Spanish.     [sbull] Members had to be bilingual, but did not require English as  the first language.     [sbull] Recruitment took place at the local field office level, and  candidates were often from the farmworker community.     The Parents Making a Difference AmeriCorps program recruits a  diverse corps including many bilingual members to provide outreach to  parents in low-income school communities. Members translate at parent- teacher conferences, call parents about absent children, and organize a  wide variety of parent-oriented outreach and educational activities.     ``Classroom in the Kitchen'' gives parents tips on how to support  the educational growth of their children in their homes. Diverse  language abilities and cultural knowledge are extremely important in  this regard. The range of English proficiency is varied, allowing  members to help each other, and communication about program activities  is largely bilingual.     The program provides English-Second-Language classes for LEP  AmeriCorps members as part of their Member Development Plan. (This  language support is required by the Rhode Island Commission for all  AmeriCorps programs, in the same vein as the GED training requirement.)     The Temple University Center for Intergenerational Learning,  Students Helping in the Naturalization of Elders (SHINE) program. SHINE  is a national, multicultural, intergenerational service-learning  initiative in five cities. College students provide language, literacy,  and citizenship tutoring to elderly immigrants and refugees. Currently,  students serve as coaches in ESL/citizenship classes or as tutors in  community centers, temples, churches, housing developments, and ethnic  organizations.     Northeastern University, San Francisco State University, Loyola  University, Florida International University and Temple University are  involved with SHINE. Students participate through courses, work study,  and campus volunteer organizations. SHINE program coordinators partner  with local community organizations; recruit, train, place, and monitor  students at community sites; and provide support and technical  assistance.     Since 1997, more than 60 faculty from education, social work,  anthropology, political science, modern languages, sociology, English,  Latino, and Asian studies have offered SHINE as a service-learning  option in their courses. Over 1,000 students provided over 25,000 hours  of instruction to 3,500 older learners at 37 sites in Boston, San  Francisco, Chicago, Miami, and Philadelphia.     The Albuquerque Senior Companion Program (SCP), sponsored by the  City of Albuquerque, Department of Senior Affairs, serves a diverse  senior population with Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo volunteers.  Senior Companions assist the frail elderly with household tasks and  companionship.     Ten of its volunteer stations are located on Pueblos. Each Pueblo  has its own language. The program works closely with its site managers/ supervisors who are bilingual    employees of the individual Pueblo governments and generally are  residents of the Pueblos. Senior Companions serve on their own Pueblos  and walk to the homes of their clients.     Due to language and cultural barriers these supervisors assist with  all areas of the program. They are familiar with the population in  their individual Pueblos and use this knowledge to assist with  recruitment, placement, and training.     ACCION International, an AmeriCorps*VISTA project sponsor, is a  nonprofit that fights poverty through microlending. ACCION Chicago did  outreach to home-based businesses that rarely have access to capital.  An AmeriCorps*VISTA member found that many of the women make ends meet  through programs such as Mary Kay cosmetics. The AmeriCorps*VISTA  member worked with the ACCION loan officer to develop a loan product  specifically for these women and has organized bilingual information  sessions throughout Chicago neighborhoods.     ``Bring New Jersey Together'' is an AmeriCorps program in Jersey  City, New Jersey that seeks to bridge the cultural and linguistic  barriers separating new Americans from the rest of the community.  AmeriCorps members serve LEP community members by translating documents  and escorting them to places such as medical appointments, the grocery  store, or anywhere else where a translator may be necessary. The  primary languages of the program are Spanish, Russian, and Vietnamese,  but also Albanian, Creole, Indian languages, and others depending on  the influx of refugees.     The New Jersey Commission built a partnership with the  International Institute of New Jersey, which had provided services to  the immigrant community for fifty years, to establish an AmeriCorps  program that served the needs of the community.     The Honolulu Chinese Citizenship Tutorial Program is a service- learning project site in the Campus Compact National Center for  Community Colleges, ``2+4=Service on Common Ground''. The University of  Hawaii at Monoa's College of Social Sciences collaborated with the  Kapl'olani Community College, Chaminade University, the Chinese  Community Action Coalition and Child and Family Service. Local  bilingual college students serve as tutors (during a 10-week session)  for Chinese immigrants to help them pass their citizenship exams. The  immigrants are recruited by visiting adult education classes, through  Chinese radio programs, flyers, and Chinese language newspapers. The  Chinese Community Action Coalition provides the curriculum and  resources such as Scrabble, books, word-picture matching games, and  card games for constructing simple English sentences.     The tutorial sessions focus on passing the INS exam and  conversational English. Many of the immigrants are senior citizens. The  classes are held in Chinatown. Since the project began, about 1,000  immigrants and refugees have enrolled. Over 300 students have  participated as tutors and approximately one-third of the Chinese  immigrants became citizens.     Transition House, Santa Barbara, CA., is a facility that primarily  serves homeless Hispanic women. The services are tailored to meet the  needs of each family to help women and their children move from  homelessness and unemployment to employment and permanent housing. The  AmeriCorps*VISTA members assigned to the project are bilingual. The  clientele is 60% monolingual Spanish speakers.     The AmeriCorps*VISTA members are creating a Career Development  Curriculum that is fully translated into Spanish and members host  seminars about immigration and consumer credit counseling services.  There was a need to improve communication with clients. One of the  AmeriCorps*VISTA members developed ``halfsheets'', one side in Spanish,  the other in English, that explain the services offered by Transition  House.     The AmeriCorps*VISTA members are responsible for placement of  children in daycare to enable parents to work. They accompany families  to childcare providers to assist with translation and to help make the  families feel at ease with placing their children in childcare.  [FR Doc. 02-26632 Filed 10-18-02; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6050-$$-P  
Updated August 6, 2015