Migration Policy Institute Podcasts

Language Access


Thursday Oct 12, 2023

Providing meaningful access to public services for individuals with limited proficiency in English is both a longstanding civil-rights requirement for federal programs and an important policy consideration given growing linguistic diversity in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic has also brought language access to the forefront by demonstrating the necessity of providing critical government services and information to individuals who speak languages other than English. Hand in hand with this growing visibility, recent years have also seen the expansion of federal, state, and local government efforts to develop and improve language access policies and programs. The Biden administration has engaged in a number of efforts to foster greater language access across federal programs. This has involved government-wide initiatives that include language access as part of advancing equity for underserved populations, supporting newcomers’ integration, and better addressing the needs of ethnic or immigrant communities with large numbers of speakers of languages other than English. Individual federal agencies also have expanded their efforts to improve language access in their services and ensure state and local programs receiving federal funding do so as well. This webinar from MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy explores executive-branch efforts related to language access provision. White House and Department of Health and Human Services officials and a leading language access advocate provide an overview of the various strands of the administration’s work and discuss former, current, and upcoming actions connected to language access. The webinar provides insights into the challenges and opportunities in this area and explore options to foster greater language access in federal programs.
MPI's Language Access Work 
Recommendations for the Task Force on New Americans on Language Access 

Friday Nov 05, 2021

Immigrant integration is the domestic policy side of the immigration debate: The secret sauce as to whether immigration policy is successful or not. Yet the issue of how immigrants and their children fare and the integration policies and programs that help ease their incorporation into society often receive far less attention, certainly in the U.S. context, than questions around immigration levels, border security, and the unauthorized population. Some countries are quite intentional about their immigrant integration programming, while the United States has a more decentralized approach, even as immigrants have moved beyond the handful of traditional destinations in recent decades. In this conversation, Margie McHugh, director of MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, chats with Ivana Tú Nhi Giang about why integration is important not just for immigrants and their families but for the broader society as well.

Friday Oct 22, 2021

The U.S. population included more than 25 million Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals in 2019, four out of five of whom were foreign born. Language barriers can pose serious obstacles for immigrant integration and hamper access to essential public services, ranging from schools and health care to police, fire departments, and the legal system. Recognizing the serious health, safety, and civil-rights issues at stake, many states and localities have introduced language access laws and policies to ensure LEP individuals have effective access to critical government services.
On this webinar, MPI researchers present an analysis that examines the common features and notable areas of innovation found in more than 40 state and local language access laws and policies. The discussion explores aspects of the policies that seek to build capacities to support their implementation and ensure the quality and consistency of services provided to LEP individuals. The conversation also illuminates key policy design elements and vital practical insights that state and local governments can employ as they face growing linguistic diversity and the need to ensure all residents have meaningful access to public information and services.   

Tuesday Sep 29, 2015

Adult English language, education, citizenship/civics, and workforce training services are critical in supporting the economic, linguistic, and civic integration of immigrants and refugees. Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs and the state partnership and investments they require comprise the central architecture for provision of these crucial services in communities across the United States. In this discussion, experts discussed aspects of the law that will likely limit prospects for immigrants and refugees to receive English language and other services they may need, serious weaknesses in WIOA regulations proposed by the Obama administration that will govern implementation of crucial services for immigrant integration, and strategies that may help ensure more equitable access for immigrants and refugees to services provided under the law.

Friday Jun 26, 2015

This discussion focuses on the Migration Policy Institute's new report, The Integration Outcomes of U.S. Refugees: Success and Challenges, which uses previously unpublished State Department data among other sources to examine refugee characteristics at arrival for the ten largest national-origin groups resettled between 2002-2013, as well as their integration outcomes. The discussion examines the report's findings with respect to refugee employment and incomes, English proficiency and education levels, public benefit use, as well as differing integration outcomes between refugee groups with similar characteristics at arrival. Read the report here: http://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/integration-outcomes-us-refugees-successes-and-challenges

Wednesday Jun 18, 2014

This Migration Policy Institute (MPI) webinar explores the findings of the new report, Critical Choices in Post-Recession California: Investing in the Educational and Career Success of Immigrant Youth. The authors of the report, MPI Director Margie McHugh, CEO and Director of Studies Michael Fix, and Policy Analyst Sarah Hooker discuss the implications of California's public education system reforms for the state's 3.3 million first- and second-generation immigrant young adults and their families. By virtue of sheer demographics, the outcomes of these youth—who include more than one-third of the country's English Language Learner (ELL) students—will drive the success of national high school and college completion efforts and shape the record of the country’s success or failure in integrating today's immigrants into the mainstream of society. Christopher Edley, Jr., former Dean and Orrick Professor of Law, University of California Berkeley School of Law and Co-Chair of the recent National Commission on Education Equity and Excellence, and Shelly Spiegel-Coleman, Executive Director of Californians Together, join the report's authors for the discussion of their findings and the implications for national and state policy.  To read the full report, click here.

Thursday May 15, 2014

This Migration Policy Institute (MPI) webinar focuses on data compiled by MPI on brain waste among foreign-trained nurses, engineers, and teachers, and updates on three state-level initiatives—in Illinois, Washington, and Massachusetts—that are working to analyze and address challenges faced by immigrants and refugees with degrees and training in these fields. Dr. Jeanne Batalova presents MPI’s data on brain waste at the national and state levels and representatives from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, OneAmerica, and the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition discuss their analysis and efforts on these issues. The discussion is moderated by Margie McHugh, Director of MPI's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy.Despite possessing postsecondary degrees and relevant work experience, many highly educated immigrants and refugees in the United States struggle to find employment that utilizes their talents and professional experience. Particularly in fields with strict certification or licensure requirements, difficulties in obtaining recognition of credentials from foreign institutions, acquiring professional-level English skills, and navigating costly or time-consuming recertification processes prevent highly skilled immigrants and refugees from making the most of their education and training, and waste human capital badly needed by local economies and employers.

Thursday Jan 17, 2013

Margie McHugh, Co-Director, MPI National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, moderates a discussion on the school readiness and education policy affecting the children of immigrants. Two experts discuss the issues of early learning and school readiness:  Robert Crosnoe, Elsie and Stanley E. (Skinny) Adams, Sr., Centennial Professor in Liberal Arts, Departments of Sociology and Psychology, University of Texas at Austin; and Linda Espinosa, Co-Principal Investigator for the Center for Early Care and Education Research—Dual Language Learners, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Professor Emeritus of Early Childhood Education, University of Missouri, Columbia.  Read the agenda and topics here.

Monday Sep 24, 2012

The winners of the Migration Policy Institute's 2012 E Pluribus Unum Prizes, honoring exceptional immigrant integration work happening in the United States, discussed their initiatives during a plenary luncheon on September 24, 2012 at the National Immigrant Integration Conference held in Baltimore, MD. During a Q&A with MPI Senior Vice President Michael Fix, leaders with ACCESS (the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services), Building Skills Partnership, Californians Together, and Citi Community Development discussed key aspects of their work. At discussion's end, the winners received their E Pluribus Unum Prizes from Brad Davidson, a trustee of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, which generously funds the prizes program.
For more information, visit www.integrationawards.org.

Wednesday Sep 19, 2012

A webinar on language access contracting for federal, state, and local officials, agency administrators, and community stakeholders concerned with the oversight and implementation of language access provision. Presenters will include Neel Saxena, Grant Manager and Program Coordinator in the Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs within the District of Columbia 's Executive Office of the Mayor, and Simone Richardson, Contracting Officer in the District of Columbia’s Office of Contracting and Procurement. The webinar was moderated by MPI Policy Analyst Chhandasi Pandya.
View the PowerPoint slides |  Read DC’s citywide translation and interpretation contract and DC government’s quality assurance standards.

Tuesday May 08, 2012

Photo by Flickr user Greg115, Creative Commons

This MPI webinar features US Department of Justice (DOJ) officials discussing the department’s efforts to improve communications with Limited English Proficient (LEP) communities in federal and federally-funded programs and activities. Laureen Laglagaron, an Attorney-Advisor in the department’s Federal Coordination and Compliance Section of the Civil Rights Division and Christine Stoneman, Special Counsel in the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section will an update on the progress of language access compliance at the federal level and discuss how the agency is continuing to provide oversight and technical assistance to states and localities as they too attempt to meet their language access responsibilities. This webinar is moderated by Chhandasi Pandya, a policy analyst at MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy.
Download the PowerPoint |  View other webinars on MPI's Language Portal

Thursday Oct 06, 2011

This webinar from the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy (NCIIP) and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Bridging Refugee Youth & Children’s Services (BRYCS) program explores federal requirements for providing interpretation and translation in schools and how select school districts in Minnesota and Colorado have managed these requirements. Under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, schools are required to provide information to parents in a “language they can understand.” In addition to this requirement, Executive Order 13166 makes clear the responsibility of all federally funded programs to uphold Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by ensuring meaningful access to programs and services for individuals regardless of their English proficiency. School districts across the country have implemented these federal requirements in a variety of ways.
This is the latest in NCIIP’s language access webinar series exploring the policy and program implementation imperatives for government and community agencies serving Limited English Proficient (LEP) populations. To access audio of previous webinars, click here. To access a toolkit for teachers and school personnel on translation and interpretation requirements developed by BRYCS, please click here.
Speakers are:
Lyn Morland, Director, Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services, US Conference of Catholic Bishops
Laura Gardner, Education Technical Assistance Specialist, Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services, US Conference of Catholic Bishops
Salvador Carrera, Director, Multicultural Outreach Office, Denver Public Schools
Alejandra Bosch, Translation Services Coordinator, Office of Communications, Marketing and Development, Saint Paul Public Schools
The call is moderated by Chhandasi Pandya, Policy Analyst/Program Coordinator, National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, Migration Policy Institute.
View the PowerPoint presentation here.
Also of interest: LEP Workers & Access to Workforce Services: Barriers & Prospects under WIA Reauthorization, Taking Limited English Proficient Adults into Account in the Federal Adult Education Funding Formula, and Immigrants and Welfare: The Impact of Welfare Reform on America’s Newcomers

Wednesday Sep 21, 2011

Current negotiations over reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) come at a critical moment for immigrant and Limited English Proficient (LEP) workers. They and their current and future employers have a large stake in these negotiations, given the wide range of labor supply and skill mismatches that employers rely on immigrants to meet across the United States. Further, the predominance of immigrants and their children among new, young, and future US workers and the weak response thus far of the WIA-funded training system to the needs of these increasingly diverse and multilingual workers necessitates a concerted re-examination of the WIA system. The extent to which changes to the WIA system take account of these important demographic and economic trends and address the needs of immigrant-origin and LEP workers in particular will strongly affect the law's ability to support our country's future economic success.
There is broad consensus that LEP workers of varying educational backgrounds and levels of English proficiency and vocational skills are underserved by WIA's training services as a result of the law's structure. While community-based organizations have filled some gaps in services for LEP individuals and immigrant workers, the current reauthorization debate presents an opportunity for analysts, workforce services professionals, and community stakeholders to consider how to redesign the WIA system and its investments in these important segments of the US workforce. On this webinar, experts discuss barriers immigrant and LEP individuals face in accessing the WIA system, how a revitalized WIA could address these barriers, and the extent to which the current Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee's WIA reauthorization proposal addresses these barriers.
View the PowerPoint presentation here.
This webinar is part of Migration Policy Institute's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy (NCIIP) Language Access Webinar Series.
Speakers are:
Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, Director of Outreach and Program Evaluation, Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians
Emma Oppenheim, Manager, Workforce Development Policy Initiatives, National Council of La Raza
Gabriela Lemus, Senior Advisor and Director, Office of Public Engagement, US Department of Labor
Also of interest: Taking Limited English Proficient Adults into Account in the Federal Adult Education Funding Formula, and Immigrants and Welfare: The Impact of Welfare Reform on America’s Newcomers

Wednesday Aug 03, 2011

Inadequate interpretation services, a lack of relevant translated materials and customer service that is not culturally competent often deter limited English proficient (LEP) individuals from accessing workforce services through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)-funded One Stop system. This interactive language access webinar, one in a series offered by the Migration Policy Institute's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, examines how New York and Illinois have broken down some of these barriers to proactively engage LEP communities to obtain workforce services. The need to ensure meaningful access to WIA-funded employment and training services for the large share of US low- and middle-skilled LEP workers is urgent, particularly in light of the tough job market and gloomy projections for the speed of recovery from the Great Recession. These featured approaches, which have entailed policy and programmatic fixes, can serve as models as states attempt to meet the workforce needs of their LEP populations and comply with federal requirements to provide meaningful language access in their federally funded programs.
Speakers are:
Julio Rodriguez, Director of Program Services, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
Haeya Yim, Counsel, Division of Immigrant Policies and Affairs, New York Department of Labor
Kerry Douglas-Duffy, Workforce Development Program Specialist, Division of Employment and Workforce Solutions, New York Department of Labor
Chhandasi Pandya, Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute
Download the PowerPoint here.

Tuesday May 18, 2010

During this panel discussion held in conjunction with the 2010 E Pluribus Unum Prizes, which the Migration Policy Institute bestows annually to four exceptional immigrant integration initiatives, several of the prize winners and other experts examine the adult literacy/ESL instruction, workforce preparation, and community financial services fields. Among the questions discussed: Whether federal policy and funding appropriately support immigrant integration goals in these fields. The discussion was moderated by Margie McHugh, Co-Director of MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy.

Friday Dec 11, 2009

In 1999, several Los Angeles-area nonprofit organizations helped three Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals file a complaint against the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services. The complaint was filed with the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights and alleged that LEP clients were not provided meaningful access to several public assistance programs. In 2003, the two agencies reached a resolution agreement. This webinar reviews the complaint-and-resolution process through the eyes of individual stakeholders including the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services, and Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County. The webinar focuses on filing a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, agency response to the complaint, and the process of negotiating an agreement.
View PowerPoint
Related Documents:
Summary of Civil Rights Resolution Agreement: APALC v. Los Angeles County DPSS
Resolution Agreement Between the Office for Civil Rights Department of Health and Human Services Region IX and Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services
How to File a Complaint
LA-DPSS’ Civil Rights Section

Thursday Nov 19, 2009

Disproportionate minority contact (DMC) is an umbrella term for the disproportionate representation of individuals of color in the criminal and juvenile justice system. Past research has found that language barriers faced by parents may potentially lead to deeper court involvement for youth in the justice system. In New York City, a collaboration between government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other stakeholders has sought to address this systemwide issue. This webinar focuses on how a multi-agency collaborative effort aims to provide LEP parents with the information necessary to understand their role in the juvenile justice system. Speakers include representatives from the workgroup from the Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney’s Office, the Legal Aid Society, New York City’s Department of Youth and Community Development, and the Vera Institute of Justice.
View PowerPoint
Related Documents:
We Want to Know What They Are Saying: A Multiagency Collaborative Effort to Address Parental Language Barriers and Disproportionate Minority Contact

Wednesday Nov 04, 2009

Swift and accurate communication with the general public is critical during major disasters and public-health emergencies. As government responds to the H1N1 influenza outbreak and prepares for the fall/winter flu season, agencies in charge of emergency management must develop and implement plans for communicating with and serving Limited English Proficient (LEP) residents before, during, and after an emergency. This webinar features speakers from state, county, and city governments discussing their work in preparing their respective communities for public health emergencies.
With Laureen Laglagaron, Policy Analyst, National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, MPI; Marsha Tamura, State of Hawaii Civil Defense Agency; Barbara Yamashita, Hawaii State Department of Health; Herman Schaffer, Director of Community Outreach, New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM); Uma Ahluwalia, Director of Montgomery County (Maryland); and Betty Lam, Chief of the Office of Community Affairs, Department of Health and Human Services.
View Powerpoint
Related Documents:
Ready New York: Pandemic Flu, New York City Office of Emergency Management
Stay at Home Toolkit for Influenza, Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County, Maryland
Emergency Preparedness in the Latino Community: Training Manual for Promoters, Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County, Maryland
Language Identification and Emergency Card (Kosraean), State of Hawaii

Friday Jul 24, 2009

Many agencies have developed unique and innovative monitoring tools and assessment practices that can be used to improve existing services and guide agencies that provide services to Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals. This webinar discusses some of these tools and practices and launches a report, Is This Working? Assessment and Evaluation Methods Used to Build and Assess Language Access Services in Social Services Agencies.
With Laureen Laglagaron, Policy Analyst, National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, MPI; Jeanette Moy, Senior Policy Advisor, New York City Mayor's Office of Operations Customer Service Group (CSG); and Kate Pielemeier, Policy Analyst, New York City Mayor's Office of Operations CSG
View Powerpoint
Related Documents:
Is This Working? Assessment and Evaluation Methods Used to Build and Assess Language Access Services in Social Services Agencies.

Friday May 29, 2009

This webinar provides listeners with an overview of two successful Limited English Proficiency (LEP) programs in New York City, NY and Hennepin County, MN. Speakers discuss their work with LEP persons, review tips for long-term program sustainability, and identify key components of the programs' successes, both large and small scale, in creating and maintaining a LEP program.
With Laureen Laglagaron, MPI; Kleber Palma, Director, Translation and Interpretation Unit, New York City Department of Education; and Vinodh Kutty, Project Coordinator and Limited English Proficiency Manager, Hennepin County Office of Multi-Cultural Services
View Powerpoint
Related Documents:
Hennepin County Limited English Proficiency Plan Health and Human Services Departments 2006
A Brochure from the Translation & Interpretation Unit of the New York City (NYC) Department of Education
Welcome Poster from the NYC Department of Education

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