Today the DC Office of Human Rights issued the FY 2011 Language Access Annual Compliance Review. According to the 2010 Census, the District has observed an influx of immigrant populations over the past decade with 13.5% of District residents being foreign born. The 2010 Census also indicates that 14.5% of residents age five and over speak a language other than English, making Language Access a prominent priority for the District.
The DC Language Access Act was enacted on April 21, 2004. The Act’s purpose is to provide greater access and participation in public services, programs and activities for residents of the District of Columbia with limited or no-English proficiency (LEP/NEP). Compliance monitoring and enforcement of the Act rests within the DC Office of Human Rights through administering the District-wide Language Access Program (Program). The mission of the Program is to effectuate change within the government by researching best practices, tailoring existing measures to fit the needs of the District’s LEP/NEP populations, and instituting policy that both reflect the Act’s intent and meets the needs of the target population.
The FY 2011 Compliance Review provides an overall assessment of District agencies with major public contact in regards to Language Access and measures how well these entities are equipped to respond to the needs of LEP/NEP populations. Statistical results in the report suggest continued improvement in agencies compliance with legislative and programmatic requirements, as well as identifies areas that present challenges for agencies. The District received an overall average compliance rating of 1.47 (Average Compliance), a 13% increase in the overall average compliance scores since 2009. Highlights of the review include:
- 11% increase in the provision of oral language services District-wide;
- 7% increase in written translation services District-wide;
- 77% increase in outreach efforts District-wide;
- 19% increase in agency staff training on Language Access; and
To view the full FY 2011 Language Access Compliance Review, click here.