Executive Order 13166
Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency
For information, guidance, and technical assistance on the implementation of the LEP initiative please visit https://www.lep.gov/
Overview of Executive Order 13166
On August 11, 2000, the President signed Executive Order 13166, "Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency." The Executive Order requires Federal agencies to examine the services they provide, identify any need for services to those with limited English proficiency (LEP), and develop and implement a system to provide those services so LEP persons can have meaningful access to them. It is expected that agency plans will provide for such meaningful access consistent with, and without unduly burdening, the fundamental mission of the agency. The Executive Order also requires that the Federal agencies work to ensure that recipients of Federal financial assistance provide meaningful access to their LEP applicants and beneficiaries. To assist Federal agencies in carrying out these responsibilities, the U.S. Department of Justice has issued a Policy Guidance Document, "Enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - National Origin Discrimination Against Persons With Limited English Proficiency" (LEP Guidance). This LEP Guidance sets forth the compliance standards that recipients of Federal financial assistance must follow to ensure that their programs and activities normally provided in English are accessible to LEP persons and thus do not discriminate on the basis of national origin in violation of Title VI's prohibition against national origin discrimination.
Guidance and Materials
The Federal Coordination and Compliance Section is responsible for governmentwide coordination with respect to Executive Order 13166. The guidance documents included below provide informal non-binding guidance to assist you in understanding the Order.
The guidance documents are not intended to be a final agency action, have no legally binding effect, and have no force or effect of law. The guidance documents may be rescinded or modified in the Department’s complete discretion, in accordance with applicable laws. The Department’s guidance documents do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities beyond what is required by the terms of the applicable statutes, regulations, or binding judicial precedent. For more information, see "Memorandum for All Components: Prohibition of Improper Guidance Documents," from Attorney General Jefferson B. Sessions III, November 16, 2017.
Message from Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke: Marking the 21st Anniversary of Executive Order 13166, “Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency”- August 31, 2021
The Justice Blog, Renewing a Commitment to Language Access - February 2011
State Courts Language Access Initiative Materials on LEP.gov
Training Video, Interagency Video Training Series on Communicating Effectively with Limited English Proficient Members of the Public, Federally Conducted Committee of the Interagency Working Group on Limited English Proficiency, YouTube Video