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The US government regularly implements new legislation to provide underserved citizens with better access to information and services they need. Federal agencies must stay informed and maintain compliance with many regulations – CyraCom is here to help. We’ve compiled a list of accessibility-related federal mandates and are ready to support your team with compliant solutions. Let’s dive in:

Which government agencies or services need to provide language access?

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires all organizations that receive federal funding or assistance to "take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to their programs and activities by limited-English proficient persons." This applies to organizations that provide housing, education, healthcare, legal assistance, and other local services.

Language Access Assets v2-07-2

Who needs language services?

People with limited-English proficiency (LEP) often experience language barriers that hinder their ability to understand processes, read and complete official forms, or access crucial services. Without the help of an interpreter or translated instructions, navigating complex government systems becomes even more challenging.

Language access doesn’t only apply to LEP individuals. People with limited vision or who are part of the Deaf and hard of hearing (DHOH) community may also need accommodations to get the help they need. For example, if your website isn’t accessible to screen reader tools, a blind person attempting to complete a form application may give up in frustration.


Why is language access important?

Interpretation and written translation services can help your organization provide equitable support and improve efficiencies.

  • Language barriers often result in confusion and misunderstandings between your staff and citizens seeking your services, increasing the time and effort invested into resolving simple issues. Providing interpretation services expedites communication and helps you deliver better customer service.
  • Translated process instructions, website content, and other written information can help LEP people understand how to work with your team.


Federal mandates related to language access

  • Office Language List Crop-2Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act deals with nondiscrimination and providing LEP patients access to qualified language services. Health systems utilizing federal funding must post notices of nondiscrimination and taglines advising language services are available, eliminate unqualified interpreters, and confirm remote interpretation options are fully functional.

Resource: ACA Section 1557 Final Rule: What’s changed and what’s the same


  • OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS)

OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (1910.1200) requires employers to transmit information about hazards in the workplace. Most of the HCS provisions relate to classifying and labeling potentially harmful chemicals, but they also set requirements for staff training in “language and vocabulary employees can understand.”

Resource: OSHA Language Requirements: What you need to know to stay compliant


  • Section 508 and OMB M-24-08Artboard 1-Apr-16-2024-05-40-31-0969-PM

The Consolidated Appropriations Act requires government agencies to collect and report data on information and communication technology (ICT) accessibility by participating in governmentwide Section 508 assessments and completing the immediate agency actions described in OMB-M-24-08.

Resource: What you need to know about Section 508 and OMB M-24-08 compliance


  • Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act

Language Access Assets-06-1Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act requires covered jurisdictions to translate registration or voting notices, forms, instructions, ballots, and other information related to the electoral process. Covered jurisdictions must also provide bilingual assistance to voters in specific languages.

Resource: What you need to know about language services & the Voting Rights Act


Let CyraCom’s language access experts help you provide equitable support to your community

Contact our team at today to ask questions or set up a zero-risk consultation.


Lindsay Lawson

Lindsay Lawson

An experienced researcher, writer, and editor on language services-related topics, specializing in interpreting and translation services, how language works.