“Our progress in providing limited English speakers and recently arrived immigrants full and equitable access demonstrates our commitment to remaining a welcoming city safe and accessible to all.”
- OHR Director Mónica Palacio
This report intends to inform elected leaders, government officials, advocates and the public about the compliance of District government agencies with the requirements of the DC Language Access Act of 2004. The Act requires that all District agencies, and service providers contracted by agencies, provide interpretation services for customers who are Limited English Proficient (LEP) or Non-English proficient (NEP). Translation of vital documents, training for personnel in public contact positions and tracking of LEP/NEP customers are also required by the Act.
The Annual Compliance Review details specific steps agencies are taking to provide translation and interpretation services, and to implement strategies that allow limited-English proficient individuals to access services in their own language. In FY18, District agencies collectively reported over 180,000 encounters with limited-English proficient individuals who spoke 69 different languages. Based on agency encounters with customers, the top-ten languages served were: Spanish, Amharic, French, Mandarin, Chinese, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Tigrigna, Korean, and Arabic. Additionally, 75,844 calls were made to access a telephonic interpreter, agencies translated roughly 694 vital documents into Spanish, Amharic, French, Chinese, and 6 other languages spoken by their customers, and more than 6,475 District employees, including contractors or grantee staff received language access compliance and/or cultural competency training.
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Learn more about the Language Access Program.