Federal Coordination and Compliance Section Publications

 [Federal Register: February 5, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 24)] [Notices]                [Page 5258-5265] From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov] [DOCID:fr05fe02-38]                           ======================================================================= -----------------------------------------------------------------------  CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE    Request for Public Comment  AGENCY: Corporation for National and Community Service.  ACTION: Policy guidance document.  -----------------------------------------------------------------------  SUMMARY: The Corporation for National and Community Service  (hereinafter the ``Corporation'') is republishing for additional public  comment policy guidance on Title VI's prohibition against national  origin discrimination as it affects limited English proficient persons.  DATES: This guidance was effective January 16, 2001. Comments must be  submitted on or before March 7, 2002. The Corporation 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 Ms.  Wilsie Y. Minor; Office of General Counsel, Corporation for National  and Community Service, 1201 New York Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20525.  Comments may also be submitted by facsimile at 202-565-2796.  FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Wilsie Y. Minor; Office of General  Counsel, Corporation for National and Community Service, 1201 New York  Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20525. Telephone 202-606-5000, Ext.129; TDD:  202-565-2799. Arrangements to receive the policy in an alternative  format may be made by contacting Wilsie Y. Minor.  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  Corporation, 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 the Corporation'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.     This document was originally published on January 16, 2001. See 66  FR 3548. The document was based on the policy guidance issued by the  Department of Justice entitled ``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).     On October 26, 2001 and January 11, 2002, the Assistant Attorney  General for Civil Rights issued to federal departments and agencies  guidance memoranda, which reaffirmed the Department of Justice's  commitment to ensuring that federally assisted programs and activities  fulfill their LEP responsibilities and which clarified and answered  certain questions raised regarding the August 16th publication. The  Corporation is presently reviewing its original January 16, 2001,  publication in light of these clarifications, to determine whether  there is a need to clarify or modify the January 16th guidance. In  furtherance of those memoranda, the Corporation is republishing its  guidance for the purpose of obtaining additional public comment.     The policy guidance includes examples of promising practices that  provide access to LEP persons in the various service programs. It also  explains further who is covered by this guidance. The text of the  complete guidance document appears below.  [[Page 5259]]  Providing Access to Limited-English Proficient (LEP) Persons to the  Programs and Activities of Grantees of the Corporation for National  Service  A. Overview  1. What Does the Document Do?     This policy guidance does not create new obligations but rather  clarifies the existing responsibilities of Corporation for National  Service (hereinafter Corporation) grantees to take reasonable steps to  provide access to their programs and activities for persons with  limited English proficiency (LEP). This document:     (a) Discusses the policies, procedures and other steps that  Corporation grantees can take to provide access by LEP persons to  national service programs and to other programs and activities of our  grantees.     (b) Clarifies that failure to take one or more of these steps does  not necessarily mean noncompliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights  Act of 1964 or with Executive Order 13166.     (c) Provides that the Corporation's Equal Opportunity (EO) Office  will determine compliance on a case-by-case basis, and that assessments  will take into account:      Number or proportion of LEP individuals in the service  area;      Frequency of contact with LEP language groups;      Nature and importance of the program or activity; and      Total resources available to the recipient.     (d) Provides that small grantees and those with limited resources  will have flexibility in achieving compliance.     (e) Applies to all beneficiaries of our grantees' programs or  activities.     In this document, ``beneficiary'' refers to:      Clients, former clients, and client applicants of a  grantee's programs or activities;      Members of the public who receive or are eligible to  receive benefits or services from our grantees; and     Participants, former participants, and participant applicants for  positions as a service member or volunteer.     Our grantees' programs or activities include:      Federally assisted programs such as AmeriCorps*State/ National;      Part-time programs such as Foster Grandparents or  participants in Learn and Serve America; and      Part federally-conducted/part federally-assisted programs  such as AmeriCorps*VISTA or AmeriCorps*NCCC.     Our grantees' programs or activities include not merely the  national service programs operated by the grantees, but in most cases  they include all operations of the organization. (See Legal  Underpinnings below for an explanation of a grantee's ``programs and  activities''.) 2. Why Do Our Grantees Need To Ensure Their Programs or Activities  Provide Services to LEP Persons?     Grantees must comply with various civil rights statutes, including  Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits denial of  services to and other forms of discrimination against persons on the  basis of national origin, color, and race. Often, language identifies  national origin. Language barriers may be rooted in intentional  discrimination. Most frequently, failure to provide language assistance  to LEP persons on the basis of national origin leads to actions having  the effect of discrimination. Such actions have consistently been held  to violate Title VI. (See Legal Underpinnings below for more  information on Title VI, and on Executive Order 13166 which clarifies  Title VI in the LEP context.)     English is the predominant language of the United States. According  to the 1990 Census, English is spoken by 95% of its residents. Of the  U.S. residents who speak languages other than English at home, the 1990  Census reports that 57% above the age of four speak English ``well to  very well.'' However, the U.S. is also home to millions of national  origin minority individuals who are ``limited English proficient''  (LEP). That is, they cannot speak, read, write or understand the  English language at a level that permits them to interact effectively  with teachers and education officials, health care providers, social  service agency staff, police and emergency workers, officials of public  benefit programs, etc.     Because of these language differences and their inability to speak  or understand English, LEP persons are often excluded from programs,  experience delays or denials of services, or receive care and services  based on inaccurate or incomplete information. Federal agencies have  found that persons who lack proficiency in English frequently are  unable to obtain basic knowledge of how to access various benefits and  services for which they are eligible. Agencies have also found that LEP  persons are sometimes exploited by unscrupulous persons or unwittingly  are pawns in frauds against benefit programs. 3. What Is Our Policy on Ensuring Our Grantees' Programs or Activities  Provide Access to Their Services to LEP Persons?     It is our policy to ensure that our grantees fully comply with the  requirements of the various civil rights acts and requirements  applicable to federal grantees, including Title VI of the Civil Rights  Act of 1964 and Executive Order 13166. One aspect of compliance is to  ensure that our grantees take reasonable steps to provide meaningful  access for LEP persons to their program or activities, including  provision of language interpretive services within the parameters set  forth in this policy document.  B. Legal Underpinnings of This Policy  1. What Are the Basic Requirements Under Title VI in the LEP Context?     Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000-d)  prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national  origin in programs and activities that receive federal financial  assistance. Recipients of federal financial assistance (referred to as  ``grantees'' in this policy) may not, on the basis of race, color, or  national origin:      Provide services, financial aid, or other benefits that  are different or provide them in a different manner;      Restrict an individual's enjoyment of an advantage or  privilege enjoyed by others;      Deny an individual the right to participate in federally  assisted programs; and      Defeat or substantially impair the objectives of federally  assisted programs.     A grantee whose policies, practices or procedures exclude, limit,  or have the effect of excluding or limiting, the participation of any  LEP person in a federally assisted program or activity on the basis of  national origin may be engaged in discrimination in violation of Title  VI. In order to ensure compliance with Title VI, grantees must take  reasonable steps to ensure that LEP persons who are eligible for their  programs or activities have access to the services they provide. The  most important step in meeting this obligation is for grantees to  provide the language assistance necessary to ensure such access and to  do so at no cost to the LEP person.  [[Page 5260]]  2. What Does Executive Order 13166 Require in the LEP Context? Does It  Impose Requirements Beyond Those of Title VI?     On August 11, 2000, the President issued Executive Order 13166  entitled ``Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited  English Proficiency.'' The purpose of this Executive Order is to  eliminate, to the maximum extent possible, limited English proficiency  as an artificial barrier to full and meaningful participation by  beneficiaries in federally assisted programs and activities. It  clarifies existing Title VI responsibilities for grantees regarding  access for LEP persons, but does not impose additional requirements. On  August 16, 2000, the Department of Justice issued policy guidance which  may be found at 65 FR 50123 or www.usdoj.gov/crt/cor. 3. Who Are Grantees? What Is Federal Financial Assistance?     In this document, a grantee is any entity receiving federal  financial assistance from us to operate a federally assisted program.  Grantees include, but are not limited to, the State Commissions,  AmeriCorps*VISTA and Senior Corps sponsors, State Educational Agencies,  and AmeriCorps*NCCC projects. Grantees also include other direct  recipients, service sites and intermediary service programs (entities  between the primary grantee and the service sites).     For example, the Corporation funds a grant to a state agency. The  state agency provides funding to non-profits or local governments  throughout the state. These organizations place volunteers with local  organizations. Each level is a grantee for civil rights purposes.     Federal financial assistance includes funds, property or services,  including technical assistance, provided to non-federal organizations  to promote activities serving the public interest. For civil rights  purposes, it also includes aid that enhances the ability to improve or  expand allocation of a grantee's own resources. This may be through the  services of, or training by, service members or volunteers or federal  personnel at no cost or at less than full market value. Therefore,  assignment of service members or volunteers (including VISTA or NCCC)-- whether supported, in whole or in part, under a Corporation grant or  through an Education Award Program--is a form of federal financial  assistance.     The definition of the ``program or activity'' receiving federal  financial assistance is quite broad and for most organizations extends  beyond their national service program. For example, it includes all  operations of a department, agency or district of a State or local  government; a college, university, local education agency; and an  entire corporation or private organization which is principally engaged  in providing education, health care, housing, social services, or parks  and recreation when any part of these entities receives federal  financial assistance.     A grantee may receive financial assistance directly from us or  through another grantee. A grantee may be a Native American tribe.  While tribes have sovereign immunity in many respects, when they  receive federal financial assistance, by the terms of the grant, they  agree to comply with the civil rights requirements in the operation of  their national service programs. 4. Who Are Beneficiaries? Why Are They Beneficiaries? What Rights Do  They Have?     Service members and volunteers are beneficiaries of federally  assisted programs. They receive a stipend, an allowance for living  expenses, an education award or post-service stipend, child care or  child care allowance, and/or health care coverage, or cost  reimbursements paid in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by the  Corporation. Former service members or volunteers and service member  and volunteer applicants are also beneficiaries as it relates to their  connection to a national service program funded by the Corporation.     The persons served by the service members and volunteers (including  AmeriCorps*NCCC members) are beneficiaries of federally assisted  programs. They receive benefits, be it tutoring, housing, employment,  or substance abuse counseling, immunizations, personal living  assistance, etc. which they would not have but for the national service  programs funded in whole or in part by the Corporation. Persons  previously served or applying to be served by service members and  volunteers are also beneficiaries.     The persons served, eligible to be served, or previously served by  other programs and activities of the grantee are also beneficiaries of  federally assisted programs. They receive benefits from a recipient of  federal financial assistance, so by definition they are beneficiaries.  Similarly, members of the public who receive or are eligible to receive  benefits or services from our grantees are beneficiaries.     All beneficiaries of federal financial assistance have the right  not to be subjected to prohibited discrimination. In the LEP context,  this means they have the right to have the grantee take reasonable  steps to provide meaningful access to its programs and activities to  enable LEP persons to participate. All beneficiaries also have the  right to file a discrimination complaint with the Corporation if he or  she believes discrimination has occurred. 5. Can We Presume That Service Members or Volunteers Must Be Proficient  in English?     No. Programs should assess whether individuals with limited English  proficiency can effectively serve in their programs with or without  language assistance. Programs may not deny access on the basis of lack  of English proficiency unless providing language assistance would  fundamentally alter the nature of their program or unreasonably burden  the organization. There may be programs where the member or volunteer  must be proficient in English, but in some of the Corporation's  programs such as Senior Companions, limited English proficiency may not  hinder the ability to serve. Individuals who speak the language of one  of the minority groups within a community, even when they are LEP, may  effectively help to serve the community. 6. If a Grantee Is Covered by a State or Local ``English-only'' Law,  Must It Still Comply With the Title VI Obligation and Corporation  Guidance Interpreting That Obligation?     Yes. State and local laws may provide additional obligations to  serve LEP individuals, but cannot compel grantees 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 or other financial assistance from its responsibilities under  federal anti-discrimination laws. Entities in States and localities  with ``English-only'' laws are certainly not required to accept federal  funding--but if they do, they have to comply with Title VI, including  its 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.  [[Page 5261]]  C. LEP Requirements  1. What Are the Basic Requirements Under Title VI for LEP Persons?     The basic requirement is to provide meaningful access for LEP  persons to a grantee's programs and activities. There is no ``one size  fits all'' solution for providing meaningful access, and our assessment  of a grantee's compliance will be made on a case-by-case basis. A  grantee will have considerable flexibility in determining precisely how  to fulfill this obligation, and we will focus on the grantee's end  result. The key to providing meaningful access is to ensure that the  grantee and the LEP person can communicate effectively. Effective  communication means the LEP person is:      Able to understand the services and benefits available;      Able to receive those benefits for which he or she is  eligible; and      Able to effectively communicate the relevant circumstances  of his or her situation to the service provider.      The type of language assistance provided depends on a  variety of factors, including:      Number or proportion of LEP individuals in the service  area;      Frequency of contact with LEP language groups;      Nature and importance of the program or activity; and  total resources available to the recipient. 2. What Are the Basic Elements of an Effective Language Assistance  Program?     Effective language assistance programs usually contain four  elements:      Assessment;      Comprehensive written policy;      Staff training; and      Monitoring.     Failure to incorporate or implement one or more elements does not  necessarily mean noncompliance with Title VI, and we will focus on  whether meaningful access is achieved. Further, if implementation of  one or more accessibility options would be so financially burdensome as  to defeat the legitimate objectives of a grantee's program, the grantee  will not be found in noncompliance with Title VI. 3. How Does a Grantee Assess the Language Needs of the Affected  Population (the First Key for Ensuring Meaningful Access to LEP  Persons)?     A grantee assesses language needs by considering a variety of  factors, including the total resources and size of the recipient/ covered entity, the number or proportion of the eligible LEP population  it serves, the nature and importance of the program or service,  including the objectives of the program, the total resources available  to the recipient/covered entity, and the frequency with which  particular languages are encountered and the frequency with which LEP  persons come into contact with the program.     Assessing the number or proportion of the eligible LEP population  may be done through review of census data, client utilization data from  client files, data from local school systems and community agencies and  organizations, or other sources. Grantees are encouraged to identify  local organizations that serve the LEP populations in their community.  Collaborations with these organizations may not only assist in  assessing language needs, but may improve outreach to and recruitment  from the communities they serve. 4. What Should Be Included in a Comprehensive Written Policy and  Procedures on Language Access (the Second Key for Ensuring Meaningful  Access to LEP Persons)?     Presuming the assessment reveals more than merely a few LEP persons  being served or eligible to be served or likely to be directly affected  by the program, a grantee should develop and implement a language  assistance policy, including implementation procedures. The policy  should be comprehensive and should be in writing. It should address  periodic staff training and monitoring the effectiveness of the  program. Ideally, a range of oral language assistance options should be  included, and it should provide for translation of vital written  materials in certain circumstances. (See D.2.)     The implementation procedures should be comprehensive, should be in  writing, and should include:      How to identify and assess the language needs of LEP  persons, and to record this information in individual client files, as  applicable;      How to notify LEP persons, in a language they can  understand, of their right to receive free language assistance;      Identify where in the program or activity language  assistance is likely to be needed;      Identify what resources are likely to be needed, their  location, and their availability;      How to access these resources to provide language  assistance in a timely manner. 5. How Does a Grantee Effectively Train Its Staff Regarding the Policy  and Procedures (the Third Key for Ensuring Meaningful Access to LEP  Persons)?     A grantee must disseminate its policy to all employees, especially  to those likely to have contact with LEP persons. It must also  periodically train its employees. Effective training ensures that  employees are knowledgeable and aware of LEP policies and procedures,  are trained to work effectively with in-person and telephone  interpreters, and understand the dynamics of interpretation between  clients, providers and interpreters. Training should be part of the  orientation for new employees, and all employees in client contact  positions need to receive additional training. For AmeriCorps*State/ National grantees, State Commissions request Professional Development  and Training Funds (PDAT) funds to provide professional development and  training for AmeriCorps staff. To support the LEP initiatives, funds  might be used for activities that train AmeriCorps staff about best  practices for working with LEP members, and for building the language  capacity of LEP AmeriCorps members. 6. How Does a Grantee Effectively Monitor and Evaluate Its Language  Assistance Program To Ensure It Provides Meaningful Access to LEP  Persons (the Fourth Key for Ensuring Meaningful Access to LEP Persons)?     A grantee should monitor its language assistance program at least  annually. As part of the monitoring, the grantee should seek feedback  from clients and advocates. The monitoring and evaluation should:      Assess the current LEP makeup of its service area and  frequency of contact with LEP language groups;      Assess the current communication needs of LEP applicants  and clients;      Determine whether existing assistance is meeting the needs  of such persons;      Evaluate whether staff is knowledgeable about the policy  and procedures and how to implement them; and      Determine whether sources of and arrangements for  assistance are still current and viable.  D. Specific LEP Implementation Methods, Their Pros and Cons  1. What Does a Grantee Need To Know About Providing Trained and  Competent Interpreters?     Meaningful access to programs and activities includes providing  trained  [[Page 5262]]  and competent interpreters and other oral language assistance services  in a timely manner. This may include taking some or all of the  following steps:      Bilingual Staff--Hire bilingual staff for critical direct  client contact positions (such as emergency room intake personnel).  Bilingual staff must be trained and must demonstrate competence as  interpreters.      Staff Interpreters--Hire paid staff interpreters,  especially when there is a frequent and/or regular need for  interpreting services. These persons must be competent and readily  available.      Contract Interpreters--Use contract interpreters,  especially when there is an infrequent need for interpreting services,  when less common LEP language groups are in the service areas, or when  there is a need to supplement in-house capabilities on an as-needed  basis. Contract interpreters must be readily available and competent.      Community Volunteers--Use community volunteers. While  volunteers may be cost-effective, to use them effectively, grantees  must enter into formal arrangements for interpreting services with  community organizations so the organizations are not subjected to ad  hoc requests for assistance. Volunteers must be competent as  interpreters and understand their obligation to maintain client  confidentiality. Additional language assistance must be provided where  competent volunteers are not readily available during all hours of  service. (Note: Except in the conditions explained at the end of this  section, use of family member volunteers, especially children, is never  appropriate, and, even if a child speaks English, the parent must be  able to fully understand in order to provide informed consent for  medical services or participation in program activities.)      Telephone Interpreter Lines--Utilize a telephone  interpreter service line, as a supplemental system or when a grantee  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, the interpreters may not be familiar with the  terminology peculiar to the particular program or service. (Note: this  should not be the only language assistance option used, except where  other language assistance options are unavailable (e.g., in a rural  clinic visited by an LEP patient who speaks a language that is not  usually encountered in the area).)     In order to provide effective services to LEP persons, a grantee  must ensure that it uses persons who are competent to provide  interpreter services. Competency does not necessarily mean formal  certification as an interpreter, though certification is helpful, but  competency requires more than self-identification as bilingual. The  competency requirement contemplates:      Demonstrated proficiency in both English and the other  language;      Orientation and training that includes the skills and  ethics of interpreting (e.g. issues of confidentiality);      Fundamental knowledge in both languages of any specialized  terms or concepts peculiar to the grantee's program or activity;      Sensitivity to the LEP person's culture; and      A demonstrated ability to accurately convey information in  both languages.     A grantee may expose itself to liability under Title VI if it  requires, suggests, or encourages an LEP person to use friends, minor  children, or family members as interpreters, as this could compromise  the effectiveness of the service. Use of such persons could result in a  breach of confidentiality or reluctance on the part of individuals to  reveal personal information critical to their situations. In a medical  setting, this reluctance could have serious, even life threatening,  consequences. In addition, family and friends usually are not competent  to act as interpreters, since they are often insufficiently proficient  in both languages, unskilled in interpretation, and unfamiliar with  specialized terminology.     If, after a grantee informs an LEP person of the right to free  interpreter services, the person declines such services and requests  the use of a family member or friend, the grantee may use the family  member or friend, if the use of such a person would not compromise the  effectiveness of services or violate the LEP person's confidentiality.  The grantee should document the offer and declination in the LEP  person's file. Even if an LEP person elects to use a family member or  friend, the grantee should suggest that a trained interpreter sit in on  the encounter to ensure accurate interpretation. 2. What Does a Grantee Need to Know About Providing Translation of  Written Materials?     An effective language assistance program may include providing  translation of certain written materials. For instance, written  materials routinely provided in English to applicants, clients and the  public should be available in regularly encountered languages other  than English. Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Korean are the  major languages spoken by non-English speaking persons in the U.S. 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 directly affected by the  grantee's program. Examples of vital documents include:      Applications for benefits or services;      Consent forms;      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);      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;      The member contract, job description, and an explanation  of the Grievance Procedure;      Notices advising LEP persons of the availability of free  language assistance; and      Other outreach materials.     In contrast, documents prepared for a selected portion of the  public, such as laws, regulations, and detailed policy manuals, may not  be a priority for translation and perhaps only short summaries of the  contents are needed.     When making decisions about doing written translation of documents,  it is important to consider the level of literacy in the ethnic  community's first language. If a document is translated in writing for  a community with high rates of first language illiteracy, access for  LEP individuals may still be denied. Meaningful access may require  making the information available in an oral format.     It is important to ensure that the person translating the materials  is well qualified. Verbatim translations may not accurately or  appropriately convey the substance of what is contained in the written  materials. An effective way to address this potential problem is to  reach out to community-based organizations to review translated  materials to ensure that they are accurate and easily understood by LEP  persons. Recent technological advances have made it easier to store  translated documents. It is advisable to maintain a data base of  translated documents, to  [[Page 5263]]  avoid the cost and time of repeated translations of the same document. 3. Is Corporation Funding Available to Assist With the Cost of  Translation?     The cost of translation may be an allowable cost of a grant. Grant  funds are not available for AmeriCorps*NCCC project sponsors. 4. What Does a Grantee Need To Know About Effectively Notifying LEP  Persons of Their Right to Language Assistance and of the Availability  of Language Assistance Free of Charge?     For a language assistance program to be effective, LEP persons need  to know they have the right to receive language assistance, and that  the language assistance will be provided at no charge to them.  Effective notification methods include, but are not limited to:      Posting and maintaining signs in regularly encountered  languages other than English in waiting rooms, reception areas and  other initial points of entry. In order to be effective, these signs  must inform applicants and beneficiaries of their right to free  language assistance services and invite them to identify themselves as  persons needing such services.      Including 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.      Providing this information to advocacy organizations,  faith-based organizations, and societies providing services to LEP  persons in the community. 5. What Other Innovative Methods Are There To Provide Meaningful Access  to LEP Persons?      Simultaneous Translation--This allows a grantee and client  to communicate using wireless remote headsets while a trained competent  interpreter, located in a separate room, provides simultaneous  interpreting services. The interpreter can be miles away, and thereby  reduces delays since the interpreter does not have to travel to the  grantee's facility. In addition, a grantee that operates more than one  facility can deliver interpreter services to all facilities using this  central bank of interpreters, as long as each facility is equipped with  the proper technology.      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--This is an office that 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--This is a project that  finds interpreters for immigrants and other LEP persons. It 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.      Pamphlets--The pamphlets are intended to facilitate basic  communication between clients and staff as they await receipt of  interpreter services. They are not intended to replace interpreters but  may aid in increasing the comfort level of LEP persons as they wait for  services.  E. Compliance Monitoring  1. By What Mechanisms Does the Corporation Ensure Its Grantees Comply  With These LEP Requirements?     The Corporation uses or may use a variety of mechanisms to monitor  compliance with civil rights requirements, including LEP requirements,  by its grantees. These include review of grant application submissions,  pre-award and/or post-award compliance reviews (desk audit or on-site),  discrimination complaint investigations, and information gathered  during outreach and technical assistance activities. Other federal  agencies often provide far more monetary federal assistance to its  grantees than does the Corporation. Each federal agency extending  federal financial assistance maintains mechanisms to ensure compliance  with Title VI and its implementing regulations. Compliance  determinations by larger federal agencies are given great weight by the  Corporation, and grantees receiving substantial federal financial  assistance from agencies such as the U.S. Department of Health and  Human Services, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department  of Veteran's Affairs, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S.  Department of Housing and Urban Development should make sure to be  familiar with the Title VI enforcement mechanisms of all federal  agencies. If the Corporation receives a complaint alleging failure to  provide effective access to LEP persons, we may refer it for processing  to a larger federal agency who also funds the grantee. However, under  these circumstances, we maintain our authority to independently  determine a grantee's compliance. 2. What Can Happen to a Grantee if Its Actions Are Determined by the  Corporation's EO Office To Be Discriminatory?     The Corporation is obligated to take appropriate action regarding  any grantee that does not comply with the civil rights laws,  implementing regulations and policies. If the Equal Opportunity  Director finds that a grantee has discriminated, it is in noncompliance  with the civil rights laws. If the grantee refuses to voluntarily  correct the noncompliance, the Corporation may pursue a number of  options, including suspension, termination or the discontinuation of  aid. The ultimate sanction may be termination of all federal funding to  the program or activity.     However, the purpose of the civil rights laws is to achieve  compliance with the laws, not to terminate federal funding to programs.  Therefore, we make great efforts to encourage our grantees to  voluntarily comply with the laws. 3. What Responsibilities and Liabilities Do Primary Grantees Have When  a Subgrantee Discriminates?     A primary grantee extends federal financial assistance to  subgrantees. A primary grantee has continuing oversight  responsibilities for ensuring the operations of each of its subgrantees  comply with the civil rights laws. When reviewing grant proposals, the  primary grantee should consider whether applicants for subgrants have  identified a means for providing access to LEP persons. During the term  of the grant, the primary grantee should monitor the provision of  meaningful access in the same manner that it monitors compliance with  other grant provisions.     When a beneficiary claims a subgrantee has discriminated, the  primary grantee should take action to bring the subgrantee into  voluntary compliance, and take appropriate action when a subgrantee  does not voluntarily comply. In cases of noncompliance,  [[Page 5264]]  appropriate action may include but is not limited to:      Providing relief to the beneficiary;      Submitting reports of any internal investigation to our EO  Director for review;      Initiating action to terminate, suspend, or refuse to  grant federal financial assistance to the discriminatory subgrantee;  and      Notifying our EO Director of the subgrantee's noncompliant  status so our EO Office may take appropriate action, including  notifying other federal granting agencies. 4. May Our EO Director Restore Compliant Status When a Grantee Remedies  Violations?     Yes. Our EO Director may restore a grantee to compliant status if  it satisfies terms and conditions established by the Corporation, or if  it otherwise brings itself into compliance and provides reasonable  assurance of future compliance.  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:      Recruiting posters, flyers and the Member Service Contract  are provided in Spanish.      AmeriCorps project staff are bilingual (Spanish/English).      Orientation training is provided in Spanish and English.      Conference calls are held in Spanish when all members  speak Spanish.      Two bilingual second-year members led a team of members  that communicated about their service projects exclusively in Spanish.      Members had to be bilingual, but did not require English  as the first language.      Recruitment took place at the local field office level,  and candidates were often from the farmworker community.     The Parents Making a Difference AmericCorps 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 is 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  AmericCorps members as part of their Member Development Plan. (This  language support is required by the Rhode Island Commission for all  AmericCorps 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. Each Pueblo celebrates ``Days of  Feast'' separately. In order to honor individual feasts, the program  has adjusted the ``leave time'' for Pueblo volunteers. Each volunteer  is given paid leave to celebrate his or her Pueblo's feast. This is one  of the ways the program remains culturally sensitive.     ACCION International, a 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. A VISTA found  that many of the women make ends meet through programs such as Mary Kay  cosmetics. The VISTA 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  stores, 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 best practice  aspect of this example is that program was designed in partnership with  an established organization instead of starting a brand new AmeriCorps  project to address this issue.  [[Page 5265]]      The Honolulu Chinese Citizenship Tutorial Program is a service- learning project site in the Champus Compact National Center for  Community Colleges ``2+4=Service on Common Ground''. The University of  Hawai'i 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.     Transitional 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 VISTAs assigned to the project are bilingual. The clientele is 60%  monolingual Spanish speakers.     The VISTAs 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 VISTAs developed  ``halfsheets'', one side in Spanish, the other in English, that explain  the services offered by Transition House.     The VISTAs 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.      Dated: January 30, 2002. Wendy Zenker, Chief Operating Officer. [FR Doc. 02-2739 Filed 2-4-02; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6050-$$-P  
Updated August 6, 2015

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