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Limited English Proficiency (LEP)

Federal laws, particularly Title VI and Executive Order 13166 issued in 2000, entitle people who do not speak English as a primary language—or have limited ability to speak, read, write, or understand English—to certain types of language assistance with local and state services, benefits, and encounters. LEP assistance provides people with meaningful access to service that are consistent with but not unduly burdensome to the fundamental mission of the agency or department.

Meaningful access to a program or service requires awareness of its existence and provisions. Therefore, agencies and departments receiving federal funds are expected to survey and assess the needs of their service populations on a regular basis to determine which materials should be translated into other languages. The following documents provide useful information for departments seeking to comply with the federal LEP standards: