Calling all language access advocates!
The Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) and the National Senior Citizens Law Center encourage you to provide comments to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on its plan to provide meaningful access to language assistance services for individuals with limited English proficiency. The deadline for submitting comments to USDA is on or before Monday, May 7.
Issue: The USDA has issued proposed guidance about the obligations of entities receiving federal financial assistance, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants and Children (WIC). (See the FR notice: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/
Why It Matters: Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders trace their heritage to more than 50 countries and speak more than 100 different languages. Data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey reveal that more than 9 million people in the United States speak Asian and Pacific Island languages at home and more than 4 million of them are considered “limited English proficient,” meaning they speak English less than “very well” or not at all. Many of these individuals are LEP and rely on federally funded public programs under the USDA.
What: The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum and the National Senior Citizens Law Center developed model comments commending the USDA for its efforts and proposing recommendations to strengthen the guidance. We urge you to submit your own comments using the attached template letter. The deadline for submitting comments to USDA is on or before Monday, May 7.
How: A copy of the FR notice is available here.
1. By email: Send your comments by email to Kenneth.Baisden@ascr.usda.gov or Anna.Stroman@ascr.usda.gov
2. By fax: (202) 690-2345
3. By mail: Kenneth Baisden, Chief, Policy Division, 300 7th Street SW, Washington, DC 20250
Please also spread the word to your listservs, networks, colleagues, and affected beneficiaries who may care about language access issues!