Access for People with Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
OMB Policies for Federal Public Websites states that "your agency is already required to provide appropriate access for people with limited English proficiency by implementing Department of Justice guidance for Executive Order 13166, "Improving Access to Services for People with Limited English Proficiency." Agencies must determine whether any individual document on their Federal agency public website(s) requires translation."
- Federal Government's Renewed Commitment to Language Access Obligations Under Executive Order 13166 (PDF, 255 KB, 6 pages, February 2011)
- Executive Order 13166, "Improving Access to Services for People with Limited English Proficiency" (PDF, 255 KB, 6 pages, August 2000)
- Federal Agency LEP Guidance—The Department of Justice website lists guidance by agency.
Why It's Important
- The number of people who are not proficient in English is growing dramatically every year. According to a 2000 Census Report (PDF, 481 KB, 11 pages, September 2003), there are over 20 million people in the U.S who speak English less than "very well." This includes over 7 million people who classify themselves as speaking English "not well" and 3 million who don’t speak English at all.
- Many people who are eligible for federal services can’t effectively use those services because they aren’t yet proficient in English.
- Providing individuals who aren’t yet proficient in English with easy–to–find government information online encourages their participation in and inclusion into American society.
How to Implement
- See our Websites in Other Languages page for guidance on how to implement this requirement and examples of multilingual websites.
- Government Multilingual Websites Group—Join this group to share ideas, challenges, and solutions for managing federal foreign language websites.
*These requirements apply to executive departments and agencies and their public websites. Check the specific law to see if it also applies to the judicial or legislative agencies or to intranets.