Look before you LEP

Do you know what a “LEP community” is?

I didn’t know either until I received an invitation from the state Office of Language Access (which I didn’t know we had) and State Civil Defense to their 3rd Annual Conference — “Ho’omāukaukau: Emergency Preparedness & Hawai’i’s LEP communities.”

It turns out that LEP stands for “Limited English Proficient,” and after you pick through all the bureaucratese about “language access plans,” you figure out that the conference is about helping folks who don’t speak English very well get through disasters (like editing this press release).

Panels include “The role of Government Agencies during Emergencies” (to miscommunicate?), “Working with LEP Individuals in the Non-Profit Sector” (they don’t have the same protection as civil service LEPs) and “The role of Media in assisting LEP Individuals in Emergencies” (I hope I’m not setting too bad an example here).

I don’t mean to make fun of those in need, but stomping out LEPs in government has been a lifelong passion, and I don’t see how people who talk like they do in this release could possibly provide much clarity to those who are English-challenged.

If my flattering write-up makes you want to go, the conference is free to the first 200 registrants and will be held Aug. 26 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the East-West Center’s Imin International Conference Center.

Call 808-586-8730 or email dlir.ola@hawaii.gov.

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One Comment on “Look before you LEP”

  1. Michael Says:

    Pidgin was said to have begun in Hawaii by many to communicate with each differnt Cultures. Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Hawaiian etc. Many different languages made into one. Pidgin English.

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