WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the release of its updated Language Access Plan, including the establishment of a new office in the department’s Civil Rights Center. The Centralized Office of Language Assistance will provide resources and guidance to the department’s 26 sub-agencies to improve access for non-English speaking workers and individuals with limited English Proficiency. The office will also assist in procuring translation and interpretation services for use across the department.The updated plan includes a comprehensive review of language assistance practices and the demographics of communities served by the department. The review complements the department’s ongoing outreach to non-English speaking workers and advocacy organizations to raise awareness and use of its services.“This new office and updated language access plan demonstrate the department’s commitment to equity, access and meaningful participation by workers with limited English proficiency in our programs and services,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Administration and Management Carolyn Angus-Hornbuckle. “The updated plan serves to uphold civil rights law and promotes effective management practices and productive engagement with all workers, regardless of language proficiency.” Today’s announcement coincides with the one-year anniversary of a memorandum from U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland that urged federal agencies to improve communication accessibility. In the directive, the Attorney General called on federal agencies to revise their language access plans in response to Executive Order 13166, “Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency.”The Justice Department has also announced the launch of a new interagency federal working group, the Federal Language Access Working Group, that will allow federal agencies to exchange best practices and share language access resources for federal agencies and recipients of federal financial assistance.The Labor Department’s updated Language Access Plan, along with more information about the Civil Rights Center, and its initiatives to support non-English-speaking individuals can be found on CRC’s website and at LEP.gov.
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