NAPABA’s Language Access Project
NAPABA’s Language Access Project began in the spring of 2006 with the hire of our first AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer. The goal of the project was to advocate for the rights of limited English proficient (LEP) Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) in the justice system. This led to the project’s success in developing a language access report that is now widely circulated among language access advocates. Now, led by our second VISTA volunteer Azizah Ahmad, the Language Access Project has grown to include a directory of legal aid offices providing free interpreter services for LEP clients and a community outreach effort to show how NAPABA members can become involved in this issue.
Language Access Report
In 2007, our Language Access Project produced “Increasing Access to Justice for Low-Income Asian Pacific Americans,” a language access report. Based on research compiled from articles, reports, surveys, and other gathering efforts, NAPABA offers this report with recommendations to diminish language barriers in judicial and administrative proceedings for LEP APAs.
Increasing Access to Limited English
Proficient Asian Pacific Americans
Report for Action
Click here to download the May 2007 report.
Legal Aid Directory
As an organization dedicated to promoting justice, equity, and opportunity for the APA community, NAPABA has a strong interest in ensuring that LEP APAs receive equal access to the justice system. That is why NAPABA is proud to introduce a national directory of legal aid offices that offer free interpreters in Asian and Pacific Islander languages to their clients. The purpose of this directory is to make finding legal help easier for low-income LEP APAs. Both advocates and individuals needing legal help can access this directory to find a legal aid office closest to them.
Click on the state where you would like legal help:
Since the establishment of the Language Access Project, NAPABA has been working with the United States Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division on language access to the courts matters based on Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. We strongly encourage all NAPABA members to help ensure that the rights of LEP individuals are met in the courts and in other federally funded entities. You may file violations or complaints at the DOJ’s LEP website at www.lep.gov.
Legal Services Corporation’s (LSC) Private Attorney Involvement Program (PAI) was developed to provide “quality legal assistance to eligible low income individuals and families” (LSC Program Letter 2007). The LSC’s PAI program links private attorneys to LSC funded legal aid offices. This program also offers different options on how attorneys can use their time whether through counseling, legal workshops, direct representation, etc. LSC funded legal aid offices are required to set aside a percentage of funds for private attorneys to provide legal services for legal aid clients. You can find more information about the PAI program and the LSC funded legal aid office closest to you at www.lsc.gov.