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Called to Action: 5 Years of Improving Language Access in the State Courts

Five years ago, state court leaders from across the country convened at the 2012 National Summit on Language Access in the Courts, where representatives from 49 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia were present.  The 2013 release of the publication A National Call to Action: Access to Justice for Limited English Proficient Litigants outlined a set of nine action steps developed during the Summit.

The Summit and the Call to Action resulted in a new level of collaboration and focus that assisted the language access community to effectively and efficiently create solutions to language barriers in the state courts.  A new website and report, titled Called to Action: 5 Years of Improving Language Access in the State Courts, 2012 – 2017, details the incredible progress state courts have made in improving language access.  The report is divided into six sections, including an assessment of needs and challenges, as well as a look at the future of language access in the state courts.

The website assembles in one place the key elements of work accomplished, including the collective charge to ensure language access, evaluation of project components, results from surveys of state courts and their partners,  programming highlights, and relevant publications.

SJI remains committed to improving language access in the state courts.  Language Access is a Priority Investment Area for SJI funding in FY 2017.  In addition, since FY 2016, SJI has awarded over $2.7 million in grants to support language access projects at the local, state, and national levels.