Limited English Proficient
Discrimination on the Basis of National Origin
Courts have interpreted Title VI's prohibition of discrimination on the basis of national origin to include discrimination based on English proficiency. Under Title VI (and the Safe Streets Act), recipients are required to provide LEP individuals with meaningful access to their programs and services. Providing "meaningful access" will generally involve some combination of services for oral interpretation and written translation of vital documents.
The Justice Department's Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons provides additional information for recipients about their Title VI obligations. This guidance includes a four Factor analysis, which recipients can use to determine steps they should take to provide meaningful access for LEP individuals. The following resources are available:
- What Federal Agencies and Federally Assisted Programs Should Know about Providing Services to LEP Individuals
- Self-Assessment Tool for Recipients of Federal Financial Assistance
- Law Enforcement Recipients
- Department of Corrections Recipients
More information can be found at LEP.gov.