When Do Organizations Need to Provide Translation And Interpretation Under Title VI And What Can You Do If You Are Denied Language Services?

Title VI’s language access requirements are intended to ensure that individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP) have meaningful access to programs and services offered by organizations that receive federal funding. Failing to comply with these requirements can have serious consequences for covered organizations. In spite of the risks of noncompliance, this does not mean that this compliance always happens. In fact, without assistance from an experienced language services provider like TNOLA Languages, they may not even realize they do not have an adequate plan in place to provide the required access. Although these are federal requirements, where you are in the country can affect what your options are if you experience discrimination, depending on what resources have been provided in your area. It should go without saying that providing language access for people with Limited English Proficiency, whether or not it is a legal requirement for your particular organization, is the right thing to do. Failing to provide for people with LEP is exclusionary, even when it is not intentional. Although this white paper focuses on those organizations for whom Title VI creates federal legal obligations regarding language access, this is not meant to imply that these are the only reasons to provide these services. Even if your organization is not covered by Title VI, it could still incur reputational harm by excluding people with LEP, and of course may face liability under other legislation or regulations. Therefore, the information in this white paper may prove useful for all organizations to consider. This white paper will give you a general understanding of the legal obligations that organizations may face and rights that individuals may have, but you should consult an attorney for legal advice for your specific situation. Additionally, it will provide examples of covered organizations in Texas and Louisiana. Finally, this white paper will help familiarize you with a new way for those denied language access in the state of Louisiana to report a covered organization’s noncompliance.

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