Needs and Challenges
Establish oversight over language access programs through the development of a state or district language access plan, creation of an oversight body, and/or creation of a language access coordinator position.
Action Step 2 details recommendations on how to establish effective oversight, including the creation of an oversight committee, the establishment of a language access coordinator position, the development of a state Language Access Plan (LAP), and or the revision of an existing plan.
Over the past 5 years, jurisdictions have made impressive strides in establishing oversight and maintaining pre-established oversight. The majority of jurisdictions stated in the survey that they currently have an oversight body, a statewide coordinator, and/or a statewide language access plan.
Oversight Bodies and Language Access Coordinators
The existence of an oversight body and a language access coordinator is arguably one of the most important indicators of a jurisdiction’s commitment toward improvement. Establishing an oversight body, such as a language access office and/or a coordinator greatly assists with the coordination of services, facilitating the development, communication, and monitoring of language access policies and procedures.
Almost 80% of jurisdictions report that they currently have an oversight body that provides language access-related policies and programs. (Figure Q5 below.) Also, 81% of jurisdictions stated that they have a statewide language access coordinator position. (Figure Q6 below.) As seen in question 42, jurisdictions overwhelmingly attributed their overall success and improvements to having a full time language access coordinator.
Language Access Plans (LAPs)
At the Summit, there was a great deal of focus on the importance of developing a state Language Access Plan (LAP), and/or the revision of an existing plan. In the years following the Summit, many resources, through funding efforts, have been put toward supporting creating LAPs or updating existing LAPs.
This intensive focus and support for LAPs has yielded extremely successful results. Most jurisdictions, 84% of respondents, report that they currently have a statewide LAP. (Fig. Q7.) In addition, 64% of respondents stated that they have updated or revised an existing LAP in the last five years. (Fig. Q8.)
Jurisdictions assign the duty of overseeing the implementation of their LAP to a variety of persons or entities. At the Summit, when developing steps to implement their LAPs, jurisdictions were asked to identify the individual or entity that would kick off and implement the LAP. This pre-planning created consensus among the key stakeholders attending the Summit and assisted with the immediate implementation of the plans.
Jurisdictions have a number of options of who is best situated to oversee the LAP. The survey asked respondents to identify who is responsible for LAP oversight.
Q9: Who (person or entity) oversees the implementation of the LAP?
Some jurisdictions reported that both a point person and an entity were charged with overseeing their LAP:
Other jurisdictions reported having either a specific person or entity that oversees their LAP:
Components of an LAP
A successful LAP should provide both a strategic framework with realistic goals and procedures and policies to improve meaningful access for LEP court users. Jurisdictions reported on the key components their plans include.
Q10 What Components does your LAP include? Check all that apply:
Listed below in the chart are the most frequently included components, including services, training, and notification procedures.
Jurisdictions have gone well beyond the list of components listed above. In the survey, respondents detailed the following additional components in their plans that were not listed as multiple choice options:
Most Effective Components of an LAP
Next, the survey asked respondents to identify the most successful aspects of their LAPs, which they would recommend to other jurisdictions.
Q11 What have been the most effective components of your
LAP that you would recommend other jurisdictions adopt and why?
Goals and Standards
Language Access Coordinators
Interpreter Training, Certification and Recruitment
Overall Impact of LAP
The survey then asked respondents if their LAP helped improve the language access services they provide in their jurisdictions. The majority of jurisdictions, over 82%, reported that their LAP improved their language access services. (Fig. Q12.)
Each jurisdiction then provided an explanation or detail on how their LAPs improved their language access services. One of the most common themes was that the LAP served as a roadmap or guide in implementing policies and standards and establishing clear direction in providing language access services. Also, increased accountability and awareness was essential to making concrete changes and improvements.
Roadmap and Guide
Increased Awareness and Understanding
Jurisdictions that did not answer affirmatively that their LAPs led to improvements referred to a lack of data to support improvements or that their LAPs were newly implemented.
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