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DHS Releases Component Draft Language Access Plans for Public Comment

Posted by Megan H. Mack, Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Being able to communicate efficiently and effectively is critical to the Department of Homeland Security’s diverse missions. Today, I am pleased to announce the release of draft Language Access Plans from the Department’s component agencies, which address the language needs of persons with limited English proficiency.

These Language Access Plans, developed pursuant to Executive Order 13166, Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency and the DHS Language Access Plan issued in February 2012, provide a framework for the Department’s components and offices to improve our delivery of language services for diverse communities across the country.

The Department is now seeking the public’s input to ensure that we are providing meaningful access to our programs and activities for our stakeholders, including persons with limited English proficiency and the organizations that represent them. Your input will assist us in continuing to develop approaches to ensure meaningful access by persons with limited English proficiency that is “practical and effective, fiscally responsible, responsive to the particular circumstances of [DHS], and can be readily implemented.”
The following components and offices have draft plans available for your comments: Federal Emergency Management Agency, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Secret Service, Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Office of Inspector General; National Protection and Programs Directorate, Federal Protective Services, and the Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman.

DHS welcomes your feedback from now through October 31, 2014, by providing written comment or through participating in stakeholder engagement meetings. The Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, together with representatives from across the Department and the federal government, will review your comments and work to implement your suggestions in the final version of the plans.

We are proud of the work the Department has done to address the critical language needs of our country’s diverse landscape. The Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties will continue to support the Department’s goal to ensure that all individuals can meaningfully participate in DHS programs and activities through language access.

To learn more about the draft DHS Language Access Plans and to find opportunities to provide input at one of the stakeholder meetings, please contact crcloutreach@dhs.gov.  CRCL has access to interpreters and translators and can communicate with you in any language, for those who do not speak or write in English.

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