Language Access Resources

Language Access Initiative: Project Status and Outcomes

Click Here to view the 2021 Project Status Report

Community Language Needs

The number of Travis County residents, aged five and older, who speak a language other than English has grown by 53% from 2000 to 2015, and the number of residents who speak English less than “very well” has grown by 41%. This exceeds the growth of the total population 5 and older, which grew by 38% over the same period.

Spanish was the most commonly-spoken non-English language in Travis County and the five-county Austin MSA in this five- year American Community Survey data estimate. Almost half of the Spanish speakers in the Austin MSA speak English “less than very well.” Chinese and Vietnamese are the second and third most commonly spoken languages in Travis County and in the five-county Austin MSA. A little less than half of the people who speak these languages speak English “less than very well.”

Language Access Work Group-2017 Report

Community Advancement Network (CAN) staff convened a work group consisting of staff from CAN partner agencies and other interested public and private organizations. Work Group members shared best practices and developed shared community standards to increase the quality and availability of translation and interpretation services in the Greater Austin area. The Work Group met for 18 months and developed recommendations for addressing these challenges through increased coordination and collaboration, focusing on best practices and shared community standards to increase the quality and availability of translation and interpretation services.

Click here to view CAN Language Access Report

Language Access Resources 2019

Phone Tree Testing Tool

Language Access Organizational Assessment 

Know Your Rights Flyer 

Know Your Rights Flyer with iSpeak Box

iSpeak Wallet Cards: Spanish, Dari, Farsi, French, Hindi, Kinyarwanda, Korean, Myanmar/Burmese, Nepali, Pashto, Swahili, Tigrinya, Urdu, Vietnamese, Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Haitian Creole

iSpeak Desktop Display

iSpeak ID Guide Brochure

iSpeak Right To Interpreter Flyer

Community Resource Guides 2023

The Community Advancement Network (CAN) has developed 6 guides in 10 languages describing what it is like living in Austin, how you can access resources, and what your language access rights are in different scenarios and places. The topics covered in these guides include:

  • Know Your Rights
  • Managing Your Money
  • Navigating the Education System
  • Staying Safe in Austin
  • Health
  • Food

To view these guides visit

Meeting Schedule

Time: 9:00 am to 10:30 am

Location: Lifeworks East Multi-Purpose Room – 835 N. Pleasant Valley Rd., Austin, TX 78702

February 16, 2017

Minutes Agenda


April 20, 2017

June 15, 2017

What is a Language Access Toolkit?

A Language Access Toolkit contains resources about language access, resources for interpreters and training videos, the role of technology in language access, resources by service type, city models, and information about legal rights organizations.  The Language Access Toolkit is for organizations to increase their language access knowledge and the legal policies regarding language access minimum requirements.

Who can use the Language Access Toolkit?

The Toolkit was designed for individuals and organizations that provide services within the community regarding language access.  These organizations and individuals can become more familiar with language access resources, procedures, and rights. But more generally, this Toolkit is for anyone interested in language access resources and rights in Austin and for people interested in becoming interpreters.

What’s the layout of the Language Access Toolkit

The Toolkit is divided into four sections that provide information on language access.  The “Resources by Service Type” tab contains various resources for organizations and individuals about language access.  The “Standards” tab has two sub tabs called “Interpretation Resources” and “Training Videos.” The “Interpretation Resources” tab contains information about how interpretation can involve technology and how to hire interpreters for various organizations.  The “Training Videos” tab contains training videos for interpreters and resources about how to become an interpreters and just about interpreters in general. The “City Models” tab contains informations about language access in different cities.

Where is this information coming from?

This information is coming from peer-reviewed journal articles and reputable websites that are affiliated with organizations or universities.  Citations for the research that guide each tab can be found throughout the webpage and the majority of the sources are recent.

What do you mean by Language Access?

Language access refers to everyone being able to access the resources that they need to access. Essentially, all resources and services should be in a variety of different languages, so all people can understand and access these resources easily.   Language should not be a barrier when trying to access these resources whether online or not. Language access also can mean becoming an interpreter in order to help improve language access for everyone and being aware of legal rights and resources for clients.

American Translators Association

Description: A website that has a directory of translators and interpreters.  Useful resources include an advanced search option and a way to become a member.

Description: A website that has a database of translation agencies worldwide.  Useful resources include how to become a member and a way to post your translation job.

Description: A website that has a list of translation agencies.  Useful resources include a search bar, free registration, and education and tool tabs.  .

Common Sense Advisory

Description: A website that has a list of language providers.  Useful resources include a link to the Language Services Market: 2012.


Description: A website that has technology options that could be used in interpretation and links that give more information about these options.  Useful resources include products and resources tab.

CIO Review

Description: A website that connects technology and interpretation. Although this is an opinion piece, this article details various interpreting services using technology.

Tools and Technology for Interpreters

Description: A website that has technology translating tools.  Useful resources include links to the technology tools.

The Guardian

Description: An article that explains things to know about translating as well as warnings.  This article also explains how technology and translation interact.

Research Gate

Description: An article about translation technologies, their scope, and tools and resources.  Useful resources include a sign up link and the ability to download the article.

Bridging Refugee Youth & Children’s Services

Description: A toolkit that details the federal requirement to provide interpretation/translation in schools.


Description: A website that suggests the 10 best translating services in Austin, Texas.  Useful resources include price and times when they are open, the ability to request a quote, reviews, and location (on a map).


Description: A website that provides interpreting by phone and video.  Useful resources include requesting a quote, helpful videos, a services tab, and a resources tab.

Clarity Interpreting

Description: A video for interpreters providing common mistakes of interpreting and proper techniques of interpreting. This video also details interpreter protocol and standards of practice.

Clarity Interpreting

Description: A video for detailing 5 tips for working with interpreters: speak directly to the client, give appropriate pauses for interpretation, communicate the message efficiently with more or less words, the interpreter will interpret exactly what was said, and do not request on-site document translation.

Clarity Interpreting

Description: A video that shares quick tips for consecutive interpreting with an emphasis on clarifying.  This includes common clarifying mistakes.

International Language Solutions Inc.

Description: A video explaining basic guidelines and expectations and how to act as an interpreter. This includes dress code, how to act at appointments, how to act with your client, and how to appropriately act with clients.

Interpreter Toby Screech

Description: A video that explains some differences between translating and interpreting.  Additionally, this video highlights some tips for successful and effective interpreting.

Language Line Solutions

Description: A video that explains how to interpret over the phone. This video includes examples of how to interpret over the phone and tips in general.–M4&index=10&list=PL_zIqksE47DzNIckfBPOBwA9cclZiGG9R

20/20 Translations, Inc.

Description: A video that shows successful translations and a model for how to translate properly and successfully. There are also examples of successful simultaneous interpretations.

My ASL Mentor

Description: A video that is meant for ASL practice but can be used for any interpretation practice, regardless of the language.  It is a tool for interpreters to practice interpreting.

SCSI Media

Description: A video that explains why candidates fail interpreting exams and ways to prevent failing. This is tailored to people who are taking written interpreting exams.  It also explains other reasons people fail this exam, such as stress.

Individuals who are non-English speaking have rights regarding language access resources. Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects individuals from discrimination in programs that receive federal funds on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Protection from discrimination on the basis of national origin includes discrimination based on language differences. Discrimination occurs when non-English speaking individuals are not able to receive the benefits of federally funded programs at the same level of English speaking participants. Here are the rights that LEP individuals have and what has been determined by the legal system to constitute discrimination:

  • The Supreme Court and other courts have found that insufficient access to services on the basis of language differences is a form of national origin discrimination
  • The Department of Justice has determined that intentional discrimination and discriminatory impact are both prohibited when concerning LEP individual’s access to services. This means that the practice of not giving equal services to LEP and English speaking individuals is enough to be determined as discrimination, even if the agency was not intending to discriminate.

There are also legal requirements that organizations have to provide as set forth by the Office of Civil Rights.

  1. LEP individuals should be made aware of interpretation services that are available to them that are free of charge.
  2. Interpretation services provided by an agency should not rely on friends or family members of the individual needing interpretation services.
  3. Vital Documents should be translated to a particular language when 5% or 1000 people, whichever is less, in the population served speak that language.
  4. If an LEP group makes up less than 50 people or 5% of the population, then an organization does not need to provide translated documents. The organization would, however, need to give written notice in the client’s primary language that they can have documents orally translated for them.

Language Access Guidance:

Executive Order 13166 of August 11, 2000

The purpose of this executive order was to improve access to federally funded services for LEP individuals. The order set forth two goals.

  1. Each federal agency must develop and implement procedures so that LEP individuals can meaningfully access the agency’s services.
  2. It also provides information to agencies receiving federal funding, through the Department of Justice, regarding legal requirements these agencies must follow to make sure that services typically provided in English are equally accessible to LEP individuals.

Renewed Commitment to Executive Order 13166 February 17, 2011

Eleven years after Executive Order 13166, a study found that there are still variations in the awareness among organizations about language access, as well as, variations in level of compliance with those requirements. The document below details concrete action steps that organizations can take to be in compliance with language access standards.

FAQ’s regarding Executive Order 13166:

In this section you will find useful resources categorized by the service area they pertain to. Some of the resources include specific legal guidance and obligations per service area and research on language access within each service type. There is also information on case studies that illustrate the problems that have arisen from inadequate language access.

More information will be posted soon.