What It Is
It takes about 6-7 years to acquire a language fluently, given time to study. Most people who immigrate to the US, particularly those who come due to economic distress, do not have the resources to spend time learning English. During that crucial adjustment period, the ability to access services is crucial: everything from being properly vaccinated to being able to start a business.
Language access allows limited English proficient (LEP) individuals access to a wide range of services. As defined by the U.S. Department of Justice, LEP individuals are persons who do not speak English as their primary language and who may have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English.
Although language access is mandated under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, there is little to no accountability at State and local levels. This means that Limited English Proficient (LEP) persons don't always have fair access to the services they need.
We are working to educate governments, the public, and others on best practices when it comes to language access. We’re also working to find and share solutions for small organizations or individuals to implement.