The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) launched a new and improved “Americans with Disabilities Act” (ADA) website, ada.gov, on November 29. The DOJ also released new guidance on increasing language access for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) individuals on November 21.
The updated ADA website is designed to serve the public more effectively and expand access for people with disabilities. The site is easily accessible on a mobile device, includes new navigation tools, and uses improved plain language.
The new guidance on language access was published by the DOJ’s Office of the Attorney General in a memorandum, “Strengthening the Federal Government’s Commitment to Language Access,” for the heads of federal agencies (including HUD), heads of civil rights offices, and general counsels. Federal agencies have made significant progress in increasing language accessibility services since 2000. To reaffirm this commitment, the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, with assistance from the new DOJ Language Access Coordinator and the Office for Access to Justice, will spearhead a collaborative effort to determine:
(1) whether agencies can further update their language access policies and plans.
(2) whether agencies are effectively reaching LEP individuals when disseminating information about federal resources, programs, and services.
(3) whether agencies have considered updates or modifications to guidance to federal financial assistance recipients regarding their obligations to provide meaningful language access under the requirements of Title VI of the “Civil Rights Act of 1964” and its implementing regulations.
(4) whether agencies can adapt their digital communications to welcome LEP individuals.
The DOJ is asking each agency to provide an updated language access plan within 180 days of November 21.
Visit the new ADA website at: ada.gov
Read the language access memo.