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What Are Language Access Services?
The phrase "language access services" describes services that agencies use to bridge the communication barrier with individuals who cannot speak, understand, read, or write English fluently.
Click here for more information about the legal requirements to provide language access and access MPI's nongovernmental language access resource guide, which contains information on state and local language access coalitions and other advocate networks working with limited English proficient communities to improve language access.
Examples of agency-wide initiatives that make services accessible to LEP clients include the following:
- Recruiting, employing and retaining bilingual employees (for example, Oklahoma Department of Human Services Interpreter/Translator Job Description)
- Contracting with translation/interpretation companies (e.g., State of Washington's Request For Proposal (RFP) for Translation Services)
- Creating comprehensive plans to serve Limited English Proficient populations (for example, Hennepin County Limited English Proficiency Plan – Health and Human Services Departments)
- Translating key documents (e.g., Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and Colorado Department of Human Services, application for assistance)
- Establishing or designating offices to oversee language access (for example, Oakland, California's Equal Access Office or San Francisco Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs)
- Using iSpeak cards to identify language needs (e.g., City of Houston Language Identification Guide)