Federal Coordination And Compliance Section

                            THE WHITE HOUSE

                     Office of the Press Secretary
                       (Los Angeles, California)
For Immediate Release                                     August 11, 2000

                     STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

       Today, I am issuing an Executive Order to help people with limited
English proficiency (LEP) access federal services. Many people who are
eligible for federal services cannot effectively use those services
because they are not proficient in English. The Executive Order directs
federal agencies to improve the language-accessibility of their programs
by December 11, 2000. This initiative complements our commitment to
promoting programs to help individuals learn English.

       I am concerned that language barriers are preventing the federal
government and recipients of federal financial assistance from
effectively serving a large number of people in this country who are
eligible to participate in their programs. Failure to systematically
confront language barriers can lead to unequal access to federal
benefits based on national origin and can harm the mission of federal
agencies. Breaking down these barriers will allow individuals with
limited English proficiency to more fully participate in American

       This Executive Order directs federal agencies to break down
language barriers by implementing consistent standards of language
assistance across agencies and among all recipients of federal financial
assistance. Under this flexible standard, agencies and recipients must
take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to their programs and
activities, taking into account a variety of considerations. 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 nature and importance
of the service provided by the program, and the available resources.


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This page was last updated on February 07, 2001

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Updated August 6, 2015

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