Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Cultural and Linguistic Competence


Cultural competence is the integration of knowledge about the people we serve into a described set of standards, policies, practices, and attitudes that are promoted to enable all state employees and provider agency staff, at all levels of the organization, to work effectively and efficiently with people and families of all cultural backgrounds. (Adapted King 1997)

OPWDD is dedicated to providing services and supports that respect people with developmental disabilities, race, ethnicity, cultural, traditions, spiritual practices and language.  The resources below will assist providers with improving the quality of services and supports for culturally diverse individuals and families. 

National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Minority Health

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Guidelines for a Well-Designed Website

Guidelines for Clear and Simple Communications

Guidelines for Developing Low-Literacy Print Materials

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Plain Language Thesaurus for Health Communications

OPWDD Draft Guidelines for Cultural Competence

National Standards on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS)

Cultural and Linguistic Competence Assessment Tools

One Size Does Not Fit All: Meeting the Health Care Needs of Diverse Populations Self-Assessment Tool-Complete Joint Commission.

National Center for Cultural Competence and Human Development Cultural and Linguistic Competence Assessment for Disability Organizations

PROMOTING CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND CULTURAL COMPETENCY Self-Assessment Checklist for Personnel Providing Services and Supports to Children with Disabilities & Special Health Needs and their Families 

Language Assessment and Planning tool provided by the United States Office of Civil Rights for additional information or resources visit LEP.GOV