WASHINGTON – The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, along with several other federal agencies, is hosting a two-day national conference on providing services to individuals with limited English skills. The conference provides an opportunity for over 400 representatives from federal, state and local agencies; community organizations; and interpreters and translators from around the country to promote and share ideas to ensure that Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals have meaningful access to programs and activities as required by Executive Order 13166.
The conference is being held March 15-16 in Bethesda, Md., and includes the participation of several Department officials, including Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. A diverse group of field experts will conduct sessions on such issues as tips and sources to identify LEP populations, the use of technology to enhance communication, ensuring the quality of interpreters, and cooperative strategies to effectively use resources. Conference attendees are encouraged to network and prepare for future cooperative projects to share resources and expertise.
In addition to the conference, the Civil Rights Division consistently works to inform government agencies and the public about effective communication with LEP individuals. Past efforts include:
-Creating a video with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, entitled Breaking Down the Language Barrier: Translating Limited English Proficiency into Practice;
-Collaborating with those same agencies to provide a Know Your Rights brochure in nine languages in addition to English;
-Creating a Tips and Tools document to assist agencies in implementing language access programs;
-Developing language access planning tools for law enforcement and corrections agencies; and
-Circulating a memorandum from Assistant Attorney General Kim to federal agencies, reminding them to consider LEP communities during their short and long-term responses to natural disasters and other emergencies.
To find out more about these and other efforts by the Civil Rights Division to ensure that reasonable steps are being taken to assist LEP individuals, please visit http://www.lep.gov.
To request a translation of this press release in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese or Korean, please contact:
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Coordination and Review Section - NWB
950 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
(202) 307-2678 (TDD)