Lighting Up Language helps communities become more welcoming and easier to navigate for people whose first language is not English. We provide clients with a full suite of policy and protocol solutions to meet federal requirements and better serve the public.

Illuminating Individuals - Empowering Employees - Connecting Communities

Amy Coffman


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What is

Language Access?

“Language access” means providing people meaningful access to language services to those who prefer a language other than English. Most often, services include interpretation or translation in order for the individual to do business with an agency.

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Recipients of federal funding (direct or indirect) must take “reasonable steps to ensure that “Limited English Proficient” individuals have “meaningful access” to their activities and programs.

Who is required to provide language access Services?

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What is

"Meaningful Access"?

An agency provides meaningful access to its programs when the language assistance provided is:

Accurate - Timely

Effective - Free

Each department’s approach will differ based on the population they serve, the type of services they provide and the resources available.

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Lighting Up Language evaluates current language service policies and identifies improvements to meet community needs and applicable state and federal law.

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Lighting Up Language reviews local data, organizational tracking of services currently in use and statistics to determine which languages and services are most in need of additional or augmented interpretation and translation to best reach and serve diverse linguistic groups in the community.


access Program

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Lighting Up Language builds a comprehensive program to help organizations address the linguistic needs of constituents and clients to best provide interpretation and translation services and provide staff with the tools for successful interactions.

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Training &


Lighting Up Language develops and implements individualized training to connect employees and managers with the elements of the language access program. The language tracking tool measures contact with the public, languages requested, documents translated, cost and more.

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About Amy Coffman

Amy, the founder of Lighting Up Language, has had a fascination with languages and cultures since she was thirteen, when her family hosted their first of three AFS foreign exchange students. In 1997, she earned her BA in Linguistics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she had the honor of contributing to the development of the Koyukon dictionary at the Alaska Native Language Center. Amy also worked as a Russian interpreter in the Fairbanks Northstar Borough School District.

Driven by her dedication to equity, inclusion, and belonging, Amy has pursued a career focused on advocacy and creating change. She has rallied union members, advocated for nonprofits, managed political campaigns, and served as chief of staff to the Alaska House Minority. In 2015, Amy played a crucial role as a Special Assistant for Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, leading the development of the Welcoming Anchorage Plan to create a more open and inclusive community.

Amy's involvement with Welcoming Anchorage inspired her to craft and implement the language access policy for the Anchorage municipal government, igniting her passion to help organizations understand the significance of providing language services to the public. Since its launch in 2022, Lighting Up Language has designed language access programs for businesses, non-profits, and government entities. Amy is enthusiastic about helping more agencies enhance their services through comprehensive and inclusive language access programs.

As a co-Chair of Welcoming KC, Amy diligently integrates her dedication to equity, inclusion, and belonging into both her professional and volunteer endeavors. She finds joy in traveling, discovering Kansas City, and spending time with her husband, Casey, and their miniature schnauzer, Gilbert. Returning to Kansas City has brought her immense happiness, allowing her to reconnect with family and friends while offering a service that enriches the lives of many.

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what they say...

Ethan Berkowitz

Former Mayor

Anchorage, Alaska

"As the former mayor of Anchorage, Alaska, one of the most diverse cities in the country where more than one hundred languages are spoken, I was fortunate that Amy Coffman took on the responsibility of developing and implementing a Language Access Plan for municipal departments. She successfully developed a general strategy and more granular blueprint that encompassed policies and procedures and a path for training and implementation. The most profound measure of Amy’s achievement are lives changed for the better as a result of her passion and initiative."

Greg Valdovino

Vice President, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce

"As the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce spearheaded the Welcoming KC initiative, we knew it was imperative that we have a language access program for our organization. Lighting Up Language designed a tailor-made language access program that speaks to the needs of our members and potential members, so they are able to access information and participate fully in the Greater Kansas City business community. Amy Coffman understands that language access is complex but makes her presentations, trainings, and materials easy to understand for our staff and members."

Kim Rogers Graves

Chief Operating Officer

Literacy KC

"Amy Coffman’s passion for language access is infectious. She designed the language access program for Literacy KC to help potential students through the orientation process and access programs at our School of English. She worked with students and staff to identify when and how interpretation and translation services would be needed. As Literacy KC continues to grow, we know that using our language access program will help staff better assist students as they settle into our community and Literacy KC."

Let's collaborate!

write me

928 E 78th St, Kansas City, Mo, 64131

give me a call

(816) 898-4321