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Civil Rights

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Limited English Proficient (LEP)

The statutory and regulatory information contained on this page does not constitute legal advice and is for general informational purposes only. The OCR makes no guarantee that the statutory authority or regulatory code citied within is the most current version of said law/regulation. For more recent versions of the U.S. Code and the CFR, users should consult the official revised U.S.C. or the eCFR.

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:

More information can be found at LEP.gov.

Date Created: January 7, 2020