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Language Access Information for Providers

Language Access Information for Providers
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Why is Language Access important?

Being able to communicate effectively with the people you serve -- including those who are limited-English proficient -- is extremely important, particularly when providing persons with developmental disabilities and their family members with meaningful access to your programs, activities and services.

What is considered limited-English proficiency?

A limited-English proficient person is one who does not speak English as his or her primary language, and has a limited ability to read, speak, write or understand English. 

Telephonic Interpretation Through OPWDD

OPWDD provides free telephonic interpretation services for its providers. 

As of August 15, 2020, provider agencies will not be able to use Geneva Worldwide for this service.

Your agency will need to submit a new and updated signed Attestation Form to OPWDD’s Statewide Language Access Coordinator. 

Please complete the form and email it to: [email protected] and the information for the new vendor, Language Services Associates (LSA), will be sent to you, along with an access code and directions for use.

Laws, Rules and Regulations relating to providing Language Access Services

1) Title VI of the Civil Rights Law

"No person in the United States shall, on ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, or be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

2) Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Section 1557

Provides that no person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any health program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance on the grounds of race, color, national origin, gender, or age as prohibited under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 or Section 4 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

3) New York State 14 CRR 633.4

Requires that licensed facilities make free, competent interpreter services available to service recipients in a timely fashion; that necessary steps be taken to provide information in appropriate languages; and that plans of treatment or services be developed for LEP individuals.

Language Access Resources for Providers to Use