Limited English Proficiency refers to people who do not speak English as their primary language and who have limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English. Laws and regulations prohibit exclusion from participation in, denial of benefits of, and discrimination under Federal programs.
What is Limited English Proficiency?
Limited English Proficiency refers to people who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English. LEP statutes and authorities prohibit exclusion from participation in, denial of benefits of, and discrimination under federally assisted and/or conducted programs on the ground of race, color, or national origin.
Ensuring equal access to federal programs and services is the law
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin and covers program access for LEP persons. These protections are pursuant to Executive Order 13166 entitled, “Improving Access to Services by Persons with Limited English Proficiency” and further affirmed in the USDA Departmental Regulation 4330-005, “Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Persons with Limited English Proficiency in Programs and Activities Conducted by USDA” and the NRCS LEP Plan.
It is NRCS policy to provide equal opportunity in all programs, services, and activities to LEP persons. The Department of Justice’s LEP Guidance provides agencies with a framework to assess agencies’ LEP services.
Get Started! A Guide to USDA Resources for Historically Underserved Farmers and Ranchers
This 40-page guide, available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Hmong, Korean, Thai and Vietnamese, can help you get started with USDA, whether you are new to farming, ranching, or forestry management, or just new to working with us. From farm loans to crop insurance, and conservation programs to disaster assistance, USDA is here to support you and your operation.