Language access

Create greater access

Helping individual survivors with LEP access community services

Despite Title VI’s enactment decades ago, advocacy is still required in many communities for services to be fully accessible to survivors with LEP. As new immigrant communities continue to move to the US and into more parts of the country, the need to build capacity to serve new community members is ongoing.

After you have identified the language spoken by a survivor, consider providing him or her with a pocket card that can facilitate their access to interpreters by other community agencies. These cards let others know that the survivor has limited English proficiency, identifies the language they speak, and formally requests language access in accordance with Title VI. You may want to accompany the survivor on the first few uses of the card so they can test this strategy with your support. See an example of a language card.

If no interpreter is provided:

  • Ask to speak to a manager and remind the manager that all persons must be able to communicate effectively and understand everything in order to participate to the best of their abilities and make informed decisions.
  • Inform or educate the agency that if they receive federal funding, they are obligated to provide language access services for individuals with LEP. View a copy of Title 6 Civil Rights Act.

If an interpreter is not qualified or is behaving unethically: