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Department of Homeland Security Language Access Plan

Overview

The Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) is pleased to announce that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published its first-ever Department plan for providing meaningful access to homeland security programs and activities to people with limited English proficiency (LEP). At DHS, we recognize the importance of being able to communicate effectively with individuals, including those with limited English proficiency, across our many missions and functions from preventing terrorism, to enforcing our immigration laws and ensuring resilience to disasters.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 20.6% of the U.S. population speaks a language other than English. Of that percentage, 42.4% speak English less than “very well.”

This Language Access Plan establishes a system within DHS to implement Executive Order 13166, Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency (August 11, 2000), which states that people with limited English proficiency should have meaningful access to federally conducted and federally funded programs and activities, including services and benefits.

In addition to describing the Department’s current language access activities, the plan includes steps to improve and increase language services for LEP individuals in operations, services, activities, and programs across DHS.

Components will now begin to develop individual language access plans. Your input is valuable to us. Please send any comments or questions that can inform the Department’s language access plans currently underway to CRCL at crcloutreach@hq.dhs.gov, or go to www.dhs.gov/crcl for additional information.

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Alternate Languages

Read about the DHS Language Access Plan in Alternate Languages:

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DHS Language Access Materials/Resources

I Speak…Language Identification Guide for DHS Personnel and OthersI Speak…Language Identification Guide for DHS Personnel and Others:
DHS employees may encounter a broad range of individuals in the course of day-to-day operations, including individuals with limited English proficiency. DHS is both committed and legally obligated to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to these individuals. This “I Speak” guide is a practical way to identify which language an individual speaks. 

DHS I Speak Booklet (PDF, 20 pages – 4.91 MB)

I Speak…Language Identification Guide for State and Local Law EnforcementI Speak…Language Identification Guide for State and Local Law Enforcement: State and local law enforcement may encounter individuals who have limited English proficiency while on duty. This guide assists literate individuals who are not proficient in English to identify a preferred language.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires all recipients of federal assistance from any source to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to individuals with limited English proficiency. This “I Speak” guide is a practical way to identify which language an individual speaks.

I Speak Booklet for Law Enforcement (PDF, 20 pages – 4.84 MB)

I Speak…Language Identification PosterI Speak…Language Identification Poster: This poster assists literate individuals who are not proficient in English to identify a preferred language.

I Speak Poster (PDF, 1 page – 3.08 MB)

 

 

 

 

 Language Access Responsibilities – Overview for DHS Employees: This presentation for DHS employees provides general  information about the DHS LEP Plan, basic principles, and tips for communicating with LEP persons.   

Read the Language Access Responsibilities: Overview for DHS Employees (PPT, 1.2 MB)

Download PowerPoint Viewer (60.3 MB)

LEP Resource Guide for Law Enforcement: This guide provides law enforcement agencies with strategies to ensure language access, resources for obtaining language services, and possible funding sources.   

Read the LEP Resource Guide for Law Enforcement (PDF, 5 pages – 44.25 KB)

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DHS Recipient Guidance

DHS offers guidance to its recipients of federal financial assistance on providing meaningful access to applicants and beneficiaries who are LEP as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Read more about the Guidance.

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