Language Access Program - About

NIH is committed to providing meaningful access to its programs and activities to people with limited English proficiency (LEP).

There is a significant and increasing LEP population in the United States who need language assistance services; according to recent Census estimates, nearly 20 percent of the population (55 million people) speaks a language other than English at home. In order for the NIH to reach the LEP population the NIH is improving access to the variety of ways LEP individuals access NIH programs, including through our digital media, face to face communication, telephone contacts, and NIH facilities like the National Library of Medicine and the Clinical Center.

Read the Plan

In accordance with Executive Order 13166 (PDF, 256kb), Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency, the NIH Language Access Plan, establishes policy and strategy for all 27 Institutes and Centers (ICs). The Plan serves as a blueprint to help NIH ICs develop their own specific implementation strategies, based on their respective needs and capacity.


Each IC and relevant NIH subcomponent within the Office of the Director (OD) has appointed a Language Access Plan Liaison (LAP Liaison) to effectively implement the NIH Language Access Plan. The LAP Liaison is the individual well-suited to lead the process of assessing IC language assistance needs and capacity and implementing provisions of the Plan. EDI serves as the coordinating office. We convene meetings with LAP Liaisons to monitor progress and provide technical assistance.

NIH LAP Steering Committee, made up of representatives across the NIH and who were responsible for drafting the NIH Language Access Plan, continue to meet as needed to assist in the implementation of the NIH LAP and to support EDI in its coordinating role. NIH continues to play an active part in the HHS Language Access Plan Steering Committee, made up of representatives from other HHS Operating and Staff Divisions.