The Language Access Services Section (LASS) houses and provides support for the Language Access Advisory Committee (LAAC) and the Council of Language Access Coordinators (CLAC).
The CLAC evolved from its origins as the Consortium for Language Access in the Courts after the Conference of Chief Justices / Conference of State Court Administrators determined that language access is a vital and fundamental court service. As a result of that determination, COSCA and CCJ voted to establish a subcommittee of the CCJ/COSCA’s joint Access, Fairness, Public Trust and Confidence (AFPTC) Committee.
That subcommittee, the Language Access Advisory Committee (LAAC), is comprised of COSCA members and non-voting CLAC liaisons to focus on language access issues and initiatives and to reorganize the Consortium into a Council.
The 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. The council'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.)
The mission of the Council of Language Access Coordinators (CLAC) is to inspire and enable its members to promote equal access to justice in courts and tribunals by eliminating language barriers for persons with limited English proficiency.
The Council of Language Access Coordinators (CLAC) dedicates itself to:
Fairness – By promoting and supporting programs to provide competent and effective interpreting and other language services for people with limited English proficiency involved in courts and tribunals.
Integrity – By exhibiting honesty, reliability, impartiality, and accountability in all its activities and promoting these qualities among its members and court-related language service providers.
Service – By providing high-quality resources and technical assistance to states as they develop efficient and effective programs to ensure the competence of interpreters and other court-related language service providers.
Collaboration – By freely exchanging knowledge and resources with and among states and other organizations that employ, support, and/or educate interpreters and other court-related language service providers to strengthen professional standards and practices.
History of the CLAC (formerly the Consortium)
It was deemed beneficial to the court systems and persons with limited English proficiency residing in various states to pool resources for developing and administrating court interpreter test and training programs by creating the Consortium. In 1995, founding states were Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington. A Steering Committee was established for the purpose of planning and drafting Guidelines for Consortium Organization and Operation. The NCSC was charged with inviting other states and, subject to the approval of the Consortium, other entities to become members of the Consortium.