Some of this information is derived from the federal website LEP.gov.
An LEP (Limited English Proficiency) person is someone who does not speak English as his or her primary language and has a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English. A person who learned English as a second language or speaks another language fluently may not necessarily be LEP.
Any agency receiving federal financial assistance must provide langauge access assistance to LEP communities in their service area.
The most common language access services are intepretation and translation. Interpreters should be provided for important interviews, hearings, meetings, etc. Translation should be provided for all important documents. Agencies should also have procedures in place for identifiying LEP persons and addressing their needs. At the very least, information on how to obtain language access services should be provided in the languages used by the community.
Federal laws applicable to language access include Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its regulations prohibiting discrimination based on national origin and Presidential Executive Order 13166 in the year 2000. Local ordinance also prohibits discrimination based on national origin.
An executive order is an order given by the President to federal agencies. The LEP Executive Order says that people who are LEP should have meaningful access to federally conducted and federally funded programs and activities.