Report Released Thursday at National Press Club Determines That Limited English Proficient D.C. Residents Are Not Receiving Adequate Access to Government Service


WASHINGTON, DC, April 26, 2012American University Washington College of Law is announcing the release of a report titled “Access Denied: The Unfulfilled Promise of the D.C. Language Access Act,” a comprehensive examination of the city government’s compliance with the D.C. Language Access Act, a law designed to ensure that limited English proficient and non-English proficient (LEP/NEP) individuals have access to government services, programs, and activities. The report is a collaborative effort by the American University Washington College of Law Immigrant Justice Clinic, and the D.C. Language Access Coalition (DCLAC), an alliance of over 40 community-based and civil rights organizations that provide services to D.C.’s LEP communities.

Current and former American University Washington College of Law students Shaleen Brunsdale, Anusha Goossens, Gabriela Gross Guinan, Jennifer Koduru, Adrian Odya-Weis, Michael Ramirez, and Shannon Zeigler contributed to the report. They were supervised by Jayesh Rathod, professor and director of the Immigrant Justice Clinic.

The report is based on surveys of nearly 250 LEP individuals who live and/or work in Washington, D.C., and also includes findings from in-person and telephone tests conducted at D.C. government agencies. Based on the results from these surveys and testing, the report makes recommendations regarding internal agency operations, agency oversight and accountability, and enforcement of the Language Access Act.

The findings of the report were released Thursday, April 26 at a press conference held at the National Press Club. LEP community members discussed their experiences interacting with D.C. government agencies. Representatives of Many Languages One Voice (MLOV), DCLAC, WCL, and supporting organizations also spoke at the event.


Please R.S.V.P. to For more information, please contact: Jennifer Koduru, Student Attorney with the Immigrant Justice Clinic at American University Washington College of Law.

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