Orange County NC Website
<br />ORANGE COUNTY <br />BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS <br /> <br />ACTION AGENDA ITEM ABSTRACT <br /> Meeting Date:June 16, 2020 <br /> Action Agenda <br /> Item No. 8-i <br /> <br />SUBJECT: Update to Orange County Limited English Proficiency Policy (“Orange County <br />“Language Access Policy”) <br /> <br />DEPARTMENT: Human Rights and Relations <br /> <br /> <br />ATTACHMENT(S): <br /> <br />1. Language Access Policy <br />2. Limited English Proficiency Policy <br />(Approved December 11, 2001) <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />INFORMATION CONTACT: <br /> <br />Annette Moore, Human Rights and <br />Relations, (919) 245-2317 <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />PURPOSE: To approve an update to Orange County’s Limited English Proficiency Policy <br />(“Language Access Policy”). <br /> <br />BACKGROUND: On December 11, 2001, the Orange County Board of Commissioners adopted <br />one of the first Limited English Proficiency policies in the Country. The Policy contained not only <br />language assistance standards and principles for providing meaningful access to Orange County <br />services, programs and activities for limited English Proficiency (“LEP”) persons, but also an <br />Implementing Plan with a “tool box” of services departments could use to address the needs of <br />the LEP community. Since 2001, neither the Policy nor the Plan been updated. In 2011, the U.S. <br />Department of Justice issued a “Language Access Assessment and Planning Tool for Federally <br />Conducted and Federally Assisted Programs.” <br /> <br />Staff is recommending the Board update the Policy for two reasons: (1) to comply with the <br />Department of Justice Guidance; and (2) review and assess of the County’s language access <br />program. Included in an assessment of the program will be a “community assessment” to <br />determine if the tools the County is using are effective and providing “meaningful access” to the <br />LEP community. If the answer is “no,” staff intends to ask stakeholders what is needed to provide <br />“meaningful access.” Staff also wants to test the public’s knowledge that the services are <br />available to the community. <br /> <br />To do this, staff proposes to divide the current LEP Policy into two parts: (1) A Language Access <br />Policy; and (2) Language Access Plan. The Policy will establish the standards, operating <br />principles, and guidelines that govern the delivery of language appropriate services. The Policy <br />directives will require Orange County Government and its staff to ensure meaningful access to its <br />services, programs and activities to the LEP community. The Language Access Plan will be the <br />management document outlining how Departments define tasks, sets deadlines and priorities, <br />1