“Effectively reaching and serving linguistically diverse communities requires intentional policies, structures, and practices. Covered entities continue to make steady strides towards these goals to ensure that all District residents receive equal access to government programs and services."
- Language Access Director Winta Teferi
Welcome to the Office of Human Rights' (OHR) annual publication on the District's efforts to ensure limited and non-English proficient (LEP/NEP) populations can participate fully in our city's civic and economic life.
This year’s report contains individual assessments of 38 agencies designated as covered entities with major public contact, and highlights districtwide progress made over the course of FY16 to meet compliance requirements of the Act. Key achievements in FY16 include a highly successful Bilingual Navigator Program piloted at the Department of Motor Vehicles, as a result of which 4,944 LEP/NEP customers were assisted by culturally competent bilingual navigators, the training of over 4,585 District agency employees on language access compliance, and the move by two large agencies to dedicate full time staff to oversee language access implementation within their agencies. FY16 field testing results conducted at 17 agencies with major public contact also revealed improved overall scores for in-person testing, with 92% of in-person testers receiving language assistance in seven different languages. Along with numerous other steps taken by agencies, these achievements continue to position the District as a jurisdiction that innovates and models best practices for effective language access implementation.
This report also offers a comprehensive look at OHR’s Language Access Program and the strategic projects undertaken in FY16 to strengthen agencies’ compliance efforts and forecasts prioritized compliance targets to be pursued over the FY17/18 period.
Learn more about the Language Access Program.