The National Response

Following the Summit, during the December 10, 2012 meeting, the SJI Board approved a Strategic Initiatives Grant (SIG) to NCSC to address limited English proficiency (LEP) issues.  NCSC established a new section, the Language Access Services Section (LASS).  LASS was uniquely positioned to provide direct technical assistance to state courts on LEP issues and coordinate LEP work and policy. 

As part of these efforts, the CCJ and COSCA created the Language Access Advisory Committee (LAAC) to increase the visibility of this work, and provide a better means of addressing policy issues impacting each state.  LAAC is composed of COSCA members. The Council of Language Access Coordinators was also formed, with several state level language access coordinators serving as liaisons to LAAC. LASS houses and provides support for LAAC and CLAC, and in turn LAAC and CLAC work together to provide direction and the input of the states and territories to the work of the NCSC Language Access Services Section.[12]

CLAC is a partnership of member states that has pooled financial and other resources to develop, maintain and administer court interpreting exams to support states' court interpreter certification programs and other language-access services. Each member state is represented by a statewide coordinator responsible for the state's court language access service. CLAC’s work is managed through projects of national interest in the area of language access and consists of coordinators, court administrators and staff provided by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC.)

These efforts and the level of commitment from these national players continued to increase after the release of the Call to Action.  During the 2013 Annual Meeting of CCJ/COSCA, NCSC released the Call to Action, which as previously mentioned represented the culmination of a multi-year SJI-funded project aimed at addressing limited English proficiency in the state courts, which included the 2012 Summit and the 9 Action Steps were ultimately used by national organizations in directing their support and also by states in focusing their efforts.

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[12] evolved from its origins as the Consortium for Language Access in the Courts.  CCJ/COSCA voted to establish LAAC as a subcommittee of CCJ/COSCA’s joint Access, Fairness, Public Trust and Confidence (AFPTC) Committee.