Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
University of Missouri Extension has a commitment to our learners who have limited English proficiency. We conduct ongoing training in each region so that faculty and staff better understand the laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of national origin. The following information is to be used by faculty and administrators as they determine which measures they will take to ensure that extension programs are accessible to this population. Each region is to develop and maintain an LEP plan.
Laws, codes and executive orders
The following laws, codes and executive orders guide our behavior.
National Origin Discrimination: It is unlawful to discriminate against any employee or applicant because of the individual’s national origin. No one can be excluded from participation in programs or denied equal employment opportunity because of birthplace, ancestry, culture or linguistic characteristics common to a specific ethnic group.
7 CFR, Part 15 is the Code of Federal Regulation that effectuates program accessibility and all other aspects of the civil rights laws for USDA.
Executive Order 13166 specifies provision of language assistance to limited English proficient (LEP) individuals.
Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans the following discriminatory actions:
- Disparate treatment
- Denial of services
- Barriers based on language that interfere with
- understanding and exercising important rights (voting or filling out an application),
- complying with responsibilities (paying taxes),
- understanding information provided by federally funded programs and activities (OSHA safety training), and
- accessing program services.
Four LEP factors to consider
- Number /proportion of LEP persons
- Frequency of contact
- Nature and importance of program/activity
- Available resources and costs
Language assistance measures
Language assistance measures are “communication accommodations” that enable LEP persons to access program services and or experience them at an acceptable level. These measures include, but are not limited to the following examples:
- Applications and forms translated into multiple languages
- Notification of services and programs in translation/multiple languages
- Telephone relay interpretation (for public notification and general information)
- Low or mixed-literacy and bilingual materials
- Program volunteers and staff who are bilingual or multi-lingual
Developing an LEP project
- Identify a target population for the project, using Census data (2010) based on
- localized groups,
- common needs, or
- same characteristics.
- Describe the program needs of this population.
- Describe the limited English proficiency needs of the target group, including literacy.
- Describe how your program meets population’s needs and how you will evaluate the program.
LEP Project Worksheet (PDF) — to be completed for each LEP program. A copy is to be provided to the AA/EEO Office and one should be maintained in the County Civil Rights File
2010 Census Data (PDF) — focusing on the Hispanic population for the purpose of developing an LEP plan for this targeted population
Timeline for developing a 2-year LEP plan
October-November, 2011: RD/PD meetings
November-December, 2011: RDs select LEP work teams
January-March, 2012: Teams meet to develop plan
March 30, 2012: Teams draft and plans submitted to AA/EEO Office
April 1-29, 2012: Teams revise LEP plans
April 30, 2012: Teams submit LEP plans
The following LEP plans are in effect from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2014:
How Building Strong Families facilitators can help participants with limited language skills (PDF)
Alianzas: Events — a University of Missouri Extension and UMKC Institute for Human Development program designed to facilitate a partnership with Hispanic/Latino communities in Missouri
EPI: English and Professional Immersion — program offered through the Missouri International Training Institute (MITI) of MU Asian Affairs Center