On August 11, 2000, President William Clinton signed Executive Order No. 13166, “Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency,” to clarify Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The purpose of the Executive Order was to “... improve access to federally conducted and federally assisted programs and activities for persons who, as a result of national origin, are limited in their English proficiency ….” Individuals who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English can be limited English proficient (“LEP”). Language for LEP persons can be a barrier to accessing important benefits or services, understanding and exercising important rights, complying with applicable responsibilities, or understanding other information provided by Federally funded programs and activities.
The New York State Education Department Child Nutrition Program Administration (NYSED CNPA) is committed to improving the accessibility of these programs and activities to eligible beneficiaries and has developed this Language Access Plan applicable to NYSED CNPA’s administration of federal CNPS to promote access to agency services, programs, and activities for persons who have limited English proficiency.
NYSED CNPA assessed the number of ELL students in New York State, the frequency of contact of ELL persons and the school meals programs, the importance of the school meal programs and the resources available. Of the approximately 2.7 million public school students in New York State, 8.8% are English Language Learners (ELLs). In the 2016-2017 school year, NYSED’s Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages reported that 64.9% of ELLs speak Spanish. Therefore, the NYSED CNPA will provide English and Spanish materials for the public and SFAs.
Below are the Language Assistance Measures Available to NYSED CNPA staff. Language services have been procured and contracted by New York State to ensure accuracy and competency of the services provided.
In order to provide meaningful access to the Child Nutrition Programs, NYSED will ensure that it communicates effectively with the public. NYSED will translate vital documents into Spanish and, when necessary, provide interpreters and translation services as needed. Translated documents will be made available on NYSED’s Child Nutrition website.
NYSED CNPA has staff members who speak languages other than English, including Spanish. These staff members, on an informal and infrequent basis as needed, may provide interpretation services to Spanish-speaking individuals who call NYSED CNPA. NYSED CNPA will utilize Language Line Services as needed.
The Language Access Coordinator will periodically review the Plan and assess the need to make revisions. NYSED CNPA will post this plan on its website. The Plan will be included in the annual staff training on civil rights.
USDA regulations prohibit discrimination in all of its federally assisted and conducted programs. Individuals who believe they have been denied the benefits of the Plan may file a complaint with the Language Access Coordinator. Written, signed complaints must be filed within 180 days of the denial.