Equal access to government programs and systems is critical for ensuring all individuals in the United States are afforded the same treatment under the law. Meaningful access to government programs and systems requires proper access to interpreters and translated materials for Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals. LEP individuals are those who report speaking English less than "very well," as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The Asian American and Pacific Islander community includes people who speak many languages, with more than 100 languages and dialects spoken in the United States. 77% of AAPIs speak a language other than English at home, more than any other population group. About 34% of Asian Americans and 9% percent Pacific Islanders experience some level of difficulty in English communication. Additionally, about 20% of Asian American households are linguistically isolated, meaning that all members fourteen years or older do not speak English "very well."
The need for increased in-language outreach and education for all workers is clear.