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Language Access Toolkit: The Role of Accessibility in Connected Communities

Hands signing in ASL

hands signing in ASL


This toolkit was designed to showcase the connection between language access, sexual assault, and other forms of harm, provide state-specific information on linguistic demographics, and provide resources for increasing accessibility for all.  Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires that all agencies that receive federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services must take adequate steps to ensure that people with limited English proficiency (LEP) receive the language assistance necessary to allow them meaningful access to services, free of charge. In addition to the other forthcoming resource modules featured in this years Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaign, we want to get the conversation started by spotlighting how interconnected language access is in the movement to end sexual violence.

An awareness of language access considers  how to accommodate, how to provide information and services to, and how to engage individuals who are non-English speaking, are LEP, low-literacy, are deaf, hard of hearing, visually impaired, or who have difficulty communicating or being understood by others. Providing language access means having tangible resources, such as outlined accessibility steps for interpretive services, translated  materials, and training on cultural proficiency. This movement to expand language access is part and parcel of  the larger commitment to removing all barriers to sexual violence prevention. As such, if we are not prioritizing language access in every facet of our work, then we are not carrying forward the mission of ending all forms of oppression.

This toolkit looks at the spectrum of language access inclusion and promotes  new ways of thinking to encourage the removal of language accessibility barriers. It also provides resources and statistics on the languages and modes of communication  in every state.  Each section includes  exercises or recommended activities organizations can complete to achieve a deeper engagement with the key takeaways of  language access support.


 Visualizing National Data

Culture & Language

Language access for english speakers

Accent Bias

Disability Awareness

Correct Pronouns and Terms

What Native Land am I on?

Spotlighted Resources


Language Access by State


Alabama   Alaska   Arizona   Arkansas   California

Colorado   Connecticut   Delaware   Florida   Georgia

Hawaii   Idaho   Illinois   Indiana   Iowa

Kansas   Kentucky   Louisiana   Maine   Maryland

Massachusetts   Michigan   Minnesota   Mississippi   Missouri

Montana   Nebraska   Nevada   New Hampshire   New Jersey

New Mexico   New York   North Carolina   North Dakota   Ohio

Pennsylvania   Oklahoma   Oregon   Rhode Island   South Carolina

South Dakota   Tennessee   Texas   Utah   Vermont

Virginia   Washington   West Virginia   Wisconsin   Wyoming


Hands signing in ASL