FROM EQUITY AND COMPLIANCE: Complying with Limited English Proficiency guidelines vital
The Office of Equity and Compliance would like to remind employees of the College’s obligations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which requires Southwest to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to services to individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP).
To ensure compliance with the requirements of Title VI, the college follows the procedures established in TBR Guideline G-130. These guidelines detail the process faculty and staff must follow to be able to promptly identify the language and communication needs of LEP individuals who make themselves known to the college.
In accordance with these guidelines, please be aware of the following:
- LEP individuals are those who "have a limited ability to read, write, speak or understand English." Because English is not their primary language, they may have limited ability to interact in a setting where English is the primary language spoken.
- You may encounter LEP individuals in the form of international students, faculty, staff, job applicants and others seeking services and access to programs, such as parents assisting potential students.
- Services available to LEP individuals must be posted in highly visible areas and trained personnel must be available to provide meaningful services and access to programs for them.
Southwest employees may also address LEP individuals’ needs by:
- Presenting the Linguistica International language identification card to determine the individual’s language. The card states: “Point to your language. An interpreter will be called. The interpreter is provided at no cost to you.” (The card can be found here: http://www.southwest.tn.edu/compliance/docs/language-card.pdf.)
- Contacting an appropriate staff member to interpret, if an employee who speaks the needed language is available and qualified to interpret.
- Contacting a Linguistica International interpreter if a staff interpreter who speaks the needed language is unavailable. Linguistica can be reached at 1-866-908-5744. Southwest’s account number is 10945 and the access code is 38201.
When translation of vital documents is necessary, please contact the Office of Equity and Compliance where the College’s Title VI Coordinator will submit the documents for translation into frequently-encountered languages. Documents being submitted for translation must be in the final, approved form.
Please note that Google Translate and similar websites are not approved interpretation services.
Individuals who believe they have not been provided reasonable access to LEP services may file a complaint with the appropriate Title VI Officer within 180 days after the last incident.
The College must keep detailed records of interpretation services and report them to TBR. Please email Equity and Compliance at firstname.lastname@example.org each time interpretation service is provided to LEP individuals.
Be sure to include in your email correspondence:
1) the date of service;
2) the language spoken and;
3) how the service was provided, i.e. an employee interpreter or Linguistica.
If a College employee serves as the interpreter, we need the employee’s name. If a Linguistica interpreter provides the service, please indicate the same in your email. We will compile a report and provide it to TBR upon request.
Our obligation to LEP individuals is an important one. Please do not hesitate to contact Equity and Compliance at email@example.com or 901-333-5005 if you have questions or need assistance with LEP matters.