Running LAPs

Do your local, regional or state courts have a Language Access Plan (LAP) in place?

A Language Access Plan, much as the name suggests, is a detailed description of the language related encounters and services an agency has in place in order to provide effective communication with Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals.  They are of particular importance to agencies which receive federal funds, as failure to provide equal access can result in a loss of funding.  LEP.gov has a great tool for designing and implementing an LAP.

(http://www.lep.gov/resources/2011_Language_Access_Assessment_and_Planning_Tool.pdf)

By now I’m sure you realize this post has nothing at all to do with running.

Recently, in the WHAT’S NEW section of the NAJIT webpage I noticed this post:

October 17, 2014 — Along with the US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Plan (found here) NAJIT also wants to focus on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Plan. Review this plan here, and contact NAJIT with any comments directly here. NAJIT welcomes your reviews/comments on the both the FEMA and ICE Plans!”

Many local, regional and state courts as well as government entities are currently working on LAPs to address the needs and changing demographics within their jurisdictions. Language professionals generally have a very specific knowledge of the standards and protocol necessary to develop and implement these plans correctly.  Get involved!

I’m certain there are committees throughout the nation waiting for YOU to help in their LAP development. There are in Ohio. Please get involved.  The input of language service professionals is crucial.

At the very least, please take a moment to peruse the two plans linked above and become familiar with what is going on. You can even leave a review or comment with NAJIT.  If you feel moved to play YOUR part in the bigger picture, find out what’s going on in your area and plug in.  The work we do now will help pave the way for future language professionals and improved language access.

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