Language Access Plan
Effective communication is critical to ensuring understanding, empowering all citizens, and providing high-quality services. A language access plan can help ensure that an organization provides high quality and appropriate language services. A language access plan can also help ensure that an organization’s staff members are aware of what to do when an individual with limited English proficiency needs assistance. This plan identifies ways that The City of Corsicana utilizes this language access plan to ensure persons with limited English proficiency have meaningful access to its programs.
It is the policy of the City to provide language access services to populations of persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) who are eligible to be served or likely to be directly affected by its programs. Such services will be focused on providing meaningful access to City programs, services and/or benefits.
Any individual eligible for programs/services at the City who cannot speak, read, write, or understand the English language at a level that permits them to interact effectively with City staff has the following rights:
A right to qualified interpreter services at no cost to them. A right not to be required to rely on their minor children, other relatives, or friends as interpreters. A right to file a grievance about the language access services provided them.
Allie Hocutt, Human Resources Director, is the City's designated Equal Opportunity/Limited English Proficiency Coordinator. Mrs. Hocutt can be reached on weekdays from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00
p.m. at (903) 654-4971. Information about discrimination complaint resolution process is available to you upon request.
LEP Analysis and Access Plan
The City has determined that the language, other than English that is most likely to be encountered by employees of the City is Spanish. Spanish is also the language most commonly spoken at home by City of Corsicana citizens who are Limited English Proficient (LEP). The methodology used to make this determination is as follows: According to data from the United States Census Bureau and World Population Review, 65.15% of Corsicana residents speak only English, while 34.85% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 31.13% of the population. Therefore, the City will review and begin translating all vital documents into Spanish.
The City of Corsicana will continue to periodically monitor the LEP population of those served or those who could be served by the City. If additional groups are seeking benefits/services or are potentially eligible to receive benefits/services, the City will adjust its methods and services to serve the new population accordingly. Any new LEP populations will be reflected in an updated version of the LEP plan.
Language Assistance Measures and Available Resources:
The City, at no cost to LEP individuals, will provide interpreter services to all LEP individuals applying for, participating in programs, or receiving services/benefits through the City. The interpreter services are provided in an efficient and timely manner so as not to delay a determination of eligibility for an individual or family, receipt of eligible services/benefits or participation in City run programs beyond that of an English-speaking individual or family.
The City does not require, suggest, or encourage LEP individuals to use friends, family members or minor children as interpreters. If a LEP individual insists that a friend or family member serve as interpreter, that choice is documented. The City will then, on a case-by-case basis, consider factors such as: competence of the family or friend used as the interpreter, the appropriateness of the use in light of the circumstances and ability to provide quality and accurate information, especially if the interview could result in a negative effect on the individual. In no case does the City allow a minor child to act as interpreter for an LEP individual.
The City addresses telephone calls and voice mail by LEP individuals in the following manner: Spanish speaking employees are available in the City of Corsicana Government Center and will be utilized to translate calls or voicemails. The City provides free language services, such as qualified foreign language interpreters and information written in other languages, to ensure meaningful access to programs and activities for persons with limited English proficiency.
Written Translation of Documents:
As a result of our analysis which indicates that 31.13% of Corsicana residents are Spanish speaking. The City will begin the process of determining which documents are vital and begin translating those documents into Spanish as required.
Distribution of the Plan and Training for Staff
The City’s staff members should know their obligations to provide meaningful access to information and services for LEP persons. Thus, The City of Corsicana will distribute the plan to all appropriate staff. The training will ensure that:
• Staff knows about LEP policies and procedures; and
• Staff having contact with the public, or with individuals in the recipient’s custody, is trained to work effectively with in-person and telephone interpreters. The City will include this training as part of the orientation for new employees. Training will focus on language access requirements; the policies and procedures of the organization to provide language access; working with an interpreter, including telephonic interpretation services; communication and interpretation skills, including ethics and confidentiality principles for bilingual employees and volunteers.
Providing Notice to LEP persons
The City of Corsicana will notify LEP persons and populations of the availability of free language services, which may include, but are not limited to, public notices, flyers, discussions within the community. Taglines, such as other notices discussed above, are designed to inform individuals with limited English proficiency about the availability of language assistance services. For example, a tagline that will be translated in Spanish might say: “If you speak Spanish, language assistance services are available free of charge. Call 903-654-4971 for assistance.” The number utilized will be directly to a Spanish speaking interpreter.
Monitoring and Updating the LEP Plan
The City of Corsicana will monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the Language Access Plan in fulfilling language access requirements. This may lead to updating the Language Access Plan if a new LEP population emerges in the service area or when a new resource to provide language services becomes available. Additionally, the City of Corsicana will provide notice of any changes in services to the LEP public and to employees. The City of Corsicana will periodically survey staff members on a regular basis about their use of language assistance services, suggestions for improvement, and if the services provided meet the language needs of the community.