The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is committed to ensuring that all persons utilizing Washington State transportation routes are provided equal access to its programs, activities, and services. Consequently, WSDOT provides language assistance to people with limited English proficiency in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Presidential Executive Order (EO) 13166 , "Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency,” signed in 2000.
WSDOT has established processes to ensure that its programs, activities, and services normally provided in English are accessible to LEP individuals and thus do not discriminate on the basis of national origin in violation of Title VI’s prohibition against national origin discrimination. These processes include, but are not limited to, providing resources such as bilingual staff, interpreters, and translated materials to ensure that information and services are made available in languages readily understood by WSDOT customers, as well as those individuals/ populations impacted by its construction and/ or maintenance activities.
Who is an LEP individual
A limited English proficient individual, as defined by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Transportation (Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration), is an individual who does not speak English as their primary language and has a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English. These individuals may be entitled to language assistance with respect to a particular type of service, benefit, or encounter.
LEP Guidance for WSDOT Staff and Consultants
This section is designed for a technical audience and describes the procedures and resource available to WSDOT staff and consultants working on WSDOT projects.
- WSDOT policy is described in its LEP Plan (pdf 69 kb).
- Statutory regulations are described in Chapter 458 of the Environmental Procedures Manual M31-11.
- Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Agency (FTA) defines limited English proficiency as an individual who does not speak English as their primary language and has a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English.
Translation and Interpreter Services
If the demographic data indicates that 5% of the population or more than 1,000 persons within 1/2 mile of your project "speak English less than well", you will need to provide equal access to project information in their language. This may be accomplished by:
- Posting a notice on your project web page in the appropriate language(s). Suggested wording for the notice is; "Need more information?" Link these words to an email address that will connect the public with to WSDOT staff working on the project.
- Printing and distributing translated project brochures, meeting invitations, and newsletters in the appropriate languages(s). You do not need to translate all of the documents for your project if you have provided a way to people to request that information.
- Providing translator or interpreter services upon request. Translators and interpreters do not need to be certified, unless they are translating legal documents. Most WSDOT Region Communication Offices maintain lists of Region Staff who can serve as interpreters and translators. The WSDOT HQ Communications Office maintains a statewide list of WSDOT employees with language skills.
Demographic and Language Data
Title VI Forms for distribution at public meetings