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Home Administration Court Services Interpreters Language Access Resources
Language Access Resources
Language Access

Federal and State law prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin, which includes inability to speak, read, write or understand English. The Colorado Judicial Department is committed to Language Access, removing language barriers to ensure that individuals with limited English proficiency have full and meaningful access to services in Colorado's State Courts .

For more information about language access rights and responsibilities, visit the United States Department of Justice website, where a video is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean.

Chief Justice Directive 06-03
Rules that govern the work of court interpreters in the Colorado State Courts.

LEP - Limited English Proficient

Who is a Limited English Proficient Person?

Persons 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, or "LEP." These individuals may be entitled to language assistance with respect to a particular type of service, benefit, or encounter.*

* "Limited English Proficiency", U.S. Department of Justice, 2005.

* Justice Case Files #6: The Case of No Pets Allowed  [National Center for State Courts (NCSC)]

The National Center for State Courts launched a public awareness campaign several years ago to educate the public about how the courts work. The central effort of this campaign was to develop a series of graphic novels, called Justice Case Files, which engage the reader while giving insight into how judges make decisions, how the courts protect the public, and why courts are so important to a democratic society. Justice Case Files #6: The Case of No Pets Allowed tells the story of the Ruiz family, who has received an eviction notice from their landlord because they own a dog. The parents speak minimal English and rely on their teenage son, who is bilingual, for English translation. The book follows the family through the court process of fighting the eviction but not understanding the process because of language barriers. When the family realizes the courts provide interpreters, the outlook for their case improves.

The books are available in print and online, made available here through the NCSC.

Federal Guidance on Language Access
  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
    Title VI, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq., part of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.
  • Executive Order 13166
    On August 11, 2000, the President signed Executive Order 13166, "Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency" (PDF). The Executive Order requires Federal agencies to examine the services they provide, identify any need for services to those with limited English proficiency (LEP), and develop and implement a system to provide those services so LEP persons can have meaningful access to them.
  • Language Map App
    The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice developed a mapping application which allows users to view and download data from an interactive map. The interactive maps provide data on the language spoken by LEP populations at the state and county level for all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
  • LEP and Title VI Videos
  • Frequently Asked Questions
National Center for State Courts

A National Call to Action - Access to Justice for Limited English Proficient Litigants: Creating Solutions to Language Barriers in State Courts. This publication represents the culmination of a multi-year NCSC project aimed at addressing Limited English Proficient challenges in the courts.

Council for Language Access Coordinators

The mission of the Council of Language Access Coordinators (CLAC) is to inspire and enable its members to promote equal access to justice in courts and bribunals by eliminating language barriers for persons with limited English proficiency.

Core Values: The Council of Language Access Coordinators (CLAC) dedicates itself to:

  • Fairness – By promoting and supporting programs to provide competent and effective interpreting and other language services for people with limited English proficiency involved in courts and tribunals.
  • Integrity – By exhibiting honesty, reliability, impartiality, and accountability in all its activities and promoting these qualities among its members and court-related language service providers.
  • Service – By providing high-quality resources and technical assistance to states as they develop efficient and effective programs to ensure the competence of interpreters and other court-related language service providers.
  • Collaboration – By freely exchanging knowledge and resources with and among states and other organizations that employ, support, and/or educate interpreters and other court-related language service providers to strengthen professional standards and practices.


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