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Digital Services and Websites


The resources below are not necessarily endorsed by the U.S. Department of Justice or by the Federal Interagency Working Group on LEP.

Related pages: Translation, Language Access Planning 

What are Digital Services?

Digital services involve the electronic delivery of information across multiple platforms or devices, such as text, audio, video, mobile applications, and graphics that are transmitted for viewing over the internet.

How to Create Multilingual Content 

Language Access in Digital Portals and Data Collection Systems, August 11, 2023.

U.S. Web Design System (USWDS), Language Components, November 14, 2022.

Guide: Improving Access to Public Websites and Digital Services for Limited English Proficient (LEP) Persons (PDF), Limited English Proficiency Committee, Title VI Interagency Working Group, December 2021.

Webinar: Language Connections: Tips to Create, Maintain, and Present Non-English Digital Content, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and General Services Administration (GSA), February 2022.

Multilingual Community of Practice, hosted by Digital.gov, General Services Administration (GSA) 

Use of Automatic or Machine Translation 

Digital.gov, GSA

Guide: Improving Access to Public Websites and Digital Services for LEP Persons, page 5.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, General Questions about Section 1557, Question # 42, May 2017

Dear Colleague Letter: English Learner Students and LEP Parents, page 38, footnote 103, U.S. Departments of Justice and Education, January 2015.

Should a recipient use automatic or machine translation software or applications to provide language access to limited English proficient individuals?, DOJ, Title VI Newsletter, Fall 2014

Webinar: Machine Translation Ensuring Meaningful Access for LEP Individuals (PDF), U.S. Departments of Labor and Justice, June 2014.

Top Tips from Responses to the Survey on Language Access Strategies Used by Federal Government Agencies, page 3, item 5, DOJ, September 2008.

American Translators Association: Position Paper on Machine Translation | Machine Translation

Requirements for Agencies

The 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (IDEA), Section 3(e) requires any public federal agency website created after December 2018 to “be in compliance with the website standards of the Technology Transformation Services of the General Services Administration [GSA]." IDEA, Pub. L. No. 115-336, 132 Stat. 5025; See also GSA Blog, January 22, 2020.  The GSA U.S. Web Design System standards include the Language Selector and Preferred Language Components. 

Federal "[a]gencies shall consider opportunities to...improve accessibility for people with disabilities and improve language access services to ensure that all communities can engage with agencies' respective civil rights offices, including by fully implementing Executive Order 13166 of August 11, 2000 (Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency)." Executive Order 14091, § 8(e), February 16, 2023. 

The U.S. Department of Justice "will work collaboratively with agencies to help determine...whether agencies can adapt their digital communications to welcome individuals with limited English proficiency."  Attorney General, Merrick B. Garland, Memorandum to Federal Agencies, November 21, 2022.  

A federal agency needs to provide assistance to members of the public enrolling in the agency's programs, including streamlining and improving the accessibility of forms and digital experiences, and ensuring the accessibility of services for persons with limited English proficiency.  Executive Order 14058, § 6(d), December 16, 2021. 

Federal agencies must provide appropriate access for LEP persons by implementing U.S. Department of Justice guidance for Executive Order 13166.  Agencies must use this guidance to determine which website content must be provided in other languages, based on their agency’s mission, analytics, and user feedback.  Office of Management and Budget, Memorandum M-17-06, 16, November 2016. 

Comply with Executive Order 13166, based on Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans discrimination against LEP persons on the basis of national origin. Checklist of Requirements for Federal Websites and Digital Services, Multilingual Websites, Digital.gov.

Federal agencies are required to provide meaningful access to government information to people with limited English proficiency. This applies to your agency’s digital content too. You need to determine how much information you need to provide in other languages, based on an assessment of your audience. Digital.gov, Multilingual Digital Content, July 2014.

International Resources

Translating content on gov.bc.ca, Government of British Columbia, Canada, June 2022.

Providing multilingual information online, State Government of Victoria, Australia, May 2017. 

How to publish on GOV.UK, Translations, Government Digital Services, February 2022.

Options for bilingual web content and navigation, National Library of New Zealand, December 2007.

Internationalization (i18n) Activity, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Machine translation for public administrations — eTranslation, European Commission.

eLUNa: the United Nations computer-assisted translation interface, United Nations.

TERMIUM Plus® , The Government of Canada’s terminology and linguistic data bank.