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NCDHHS Office of the Secretary Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Limited English Proficiency (LEP)

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Presentation on theme: "NCDHHS Office of the Secretary Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Limited English Proficiency (LEP)"— Presentation transcript:

1 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Limited English Proficiency (LEP)

2 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary What is Title VI  Title VI is part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and its implementing regulations provide that no person shall be subject to discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin under any program or activity that receives Federal financial assistance.  For our purposes, “national origin” equates to individuals who have a limited proficiency with the English language and their primary language is not English, hence the term “limited English proficiency” or LEP.

3 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary To whom does Title VI apply?  This applies to on any organization (North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) all county social services, health departments, and area mental health agencies, etc.) or individual that receives Federal financial assistance, either directly or indirectly through a grant, contract or subcontract; is covered by Title VI.  Examples of other coverage include hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, HMO’s, health service providers and human services agencies.  All organizations or individuals that are recipients of these funds from HHS (federal agency) have an obligation to ensure that LEP individuals have a meaningful and equal access to benefits and services.

4 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary Compliance with language access requirement  The key to ensuring meaningful access for LEP persons is effective communication. An agency or provider can ensure effective communication by developing and implementing a comprehensive written language assistance program that includes policies and procedures for identifying and assessing the language needs of it’s LEP applicants/clients and that provides for a range of oral language assistance, periodic training of staff, monitoring of the program and in certain circumstances, the translation of written materials.

5 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary Options for providing oral language assistance  Hiring bilingual staff with expertise in the specific area for patients and client is the most desired option.  Using bilingual staff from within the agency.  Contracting for interpreter services.  Engaging community volunteers who are competent.  Contracting with a telephone interpreter service is the least desired option and most expensive.

6 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary Translation of written documents  The necessity to translate written documentation will vary depending on several factors including the size of the population(s) being served and the size of the agency or provider.  All state-generated documents are being translated by DHHS.  Even when the population does dictate translation of written documents, the provider must still provide oral interpretation of the written document(s).

7 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary Where does the money come from to satisfy the obligation?  Local agency budgets for interpreters and some written documents that are not state generated.  Title VI has been referred to on several occasions as an “unfunded mandate”. This is incorrect. It is a civil right and therefore needs no funding.  This is an obligation placed upon an agency in exchange for federal funding (see all compliance agreements between the federal/state and local agencies.

8 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary How do you determine the extent of your Title VI obligations (Four Factor Analysis)  The number or proportion of LEP individuals served or encountered in the eligible service population.  The frequency with which LEP individuals come in contact with your program, activity or service.  The nature and importance of the program, activity, or service.  Available resources and cost.

9 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary Factor One  The number of proportion of LEP individuals served or encountered in the eligible service population. Potential sources of data may include: Potential sources of data may include: - encounter data - encounter data - Data from Census, school systems, community agencies and data from client files. - Data from Census, school systems, community agencies and data from client files.

10 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary Factor One continued… Also consider: - Does the program serve minors whose parents/guardians are LEP? - Are there populations who may be underserved because of language barriers?

11 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary Factor Two  The frequency with which LEP individuals come in contact with your program, activity or service. -How often is a particular language encountered? -How often is a particular language encountered?

12 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary Factor Three  The nature and importance of the program, activity, or service. - How important is the recipient’s activity, information, service or program? - How important is the recipient’s activity, information, service or program? - What are the possible consequences if effective communication is not achieved? - What are the possible consequences if effective communication is not achieved? - Could denial or delay of access to services or information have serious life threatening implications? - Could denial or delay of access to services or information have serious life threatening implications?

13 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary Factor Four  Available resources and costs - What are the reasonable costs of providing language assistance services? - What are the reasonable costs of providing language assistance services? - What resources are available? - What resources are available?

14 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary Applying the Four Factors - Will be based on what is both necessary and reasonable in light of the four-factor analysis. - Will be based on what is both necessary and reasonable in light of the four-factor analysis.

15 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary DHHS Assistance  Formerly a work group comprised of representatives from all divisions within the Department determined how best to use department resources to benefit the department and county agencies was established by departmental directive in 2007 which will be revised in The future group will consist of advocates, state employees and non-profit representatives.  Title VI enforcement is through the Office of the Secretary. Currently under development is a standard monitoring and reporting system for state-wide use. A standard complaint form for Spanish/English has been developed.  A “glossary of terms” has been developed to ensure accuracy in translations. This is accessible through the DHHS and Citizen Services websites.  A translation contract has been developed, which will provide a list of contractors that are approved by the department.  A model local plan has been developed to assist the local agencies in developing plan in full compliance with Title VI.  A Title VI section is on the DHHS Citizen’s Services web page, as well as the Division of Social Services web page. In the near future, a Civil Rights web page will have a link from the Departments main web page.

16 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary Continued…  All the Divisions are in the process of translating written documents (vital documents, critical forms, etc.) at present only into Spanish, which is the largest LEP population.  Language preference has been added to the reporting system for all DHHS generated documents. A total of 25 language preferences have been listed in the race, ethnicity and language R/E/L project administered by the DHHS Division of Information Resource Management (DIRM).  A “certification” process for interpreters is currently being explored by the Department in conjunction with the Center on New North Carolinians at UNC- Greensboro.  The department has contracted with Telelanguage, Inc. of Portland, Ore. to provide a department-wide language line at a low rate that is also available to the local agencies at the same low rate of $.95/per minute.  Also the department is also considering a sole source contract for translation of all vital documents for the department’s divisions/institutions/schools.  Assistance in the training of management teams in Title VI requirements.  Assistance in developing partnerships with local advocates and legal services organizations.  Assistance in developing standard contract language for independent contractors.

17 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary Discrimination?  Differences in services from the general or traditional population.  Differences in program benefits from the general or traditional population.  Differences in treatment in obtaining services than the general or traditional population.  Intentional lack of information/communication  Barriers or delays in participation which differ from the general or traditional population.  Lack of accommodations.

18 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary Is it necessary to have interpreters present at times? When interpretation is needed and is reasonable, it should be provided in a timely manner. To be meaningfully effective, language assistance should be timely. While there is no single definition for "timely" applicable to all types of interactions at all times by all types of recipients, one clear guide is that the language assistance should be provided at a time and place that avoids the effective denial of the service, benefit, or right at issue or the imposition of an undue burden on or delay of important rights, benefits, or services to the LEP person. When interpretation is needed and is reasonable, it should be provided in a timely manner. To be meaningfully effective, language assistance should be timely. While there is no single definition for "timely" applicable to all types of interactions at all times by all types of recipients, one clear guide is that the language assistance should be provided at a time and place that avoids the effective denial of the service, benefit, or right at issue or the imposition of an undue burden on or delay of important rights, benefits, or services to the LEP person.

19 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary What happens when LEP individuals insist upon using their own interpreter and refuses the services of the “free of charge” interpreter? Explain to the LEP individual (through your interpreter) that they have a right to a “free of charge” interpreter. Explain the complications of interpreting and if they refuse, they have a right to use their own (minus children). Be sure to document this action for liability and compliance purposes. Explain to the LEP individual (through your interpreter) that they have a right to a “free of charge” interpreter. Explain the complications of interpreting and if they refuse, they have a right to use their own (minus children). Be sure to document this action for liability and compliance purposes.

20 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary What is a vital document? Whether or not a document (or the information it contains or solicits) is "vital" may depend upon the importance of the program, information, encounter, or service involved, and the consequence to the LEP person if the information in question is not provided accurately or in a timely manner. Where appropriate, recipients are encouraged to create a plan for consistently determining, over time and across their various activities, what documents are "vital" to the meaningful access of the LEP populations they serve. Thus, vital documents could include, for instance, consent and complaint forms, intake forms with potential for important health consequences, written notices of eligibility criteria, rights, denial, loss, or decreases in benefits or services, actions affecting parental custody or child support, and other hearings, notices advising LEP persons of free language assistance, written tests that do not assess English language competency, but test competency for a particular license, job or skill for which knowing English is not required, or applications to participate in a recipient's program or activity or to receive recipient benefits or services. Whether or not a document (or the information it contains or solicits) is "vital" may depend upon the importance of the program, information, encounter, or service involved, and the consequence to the LEP person if the information in question is not provided accurately or in a timely manner. Where appropriate, recipients are encouraged to create a plan for consistently determining, over time and across their various activities, what documents are "vital" to the meaningful access of the LEP populations they serve. Thus, vital documents could include, for instance, consent and complaint forms, intake forms with potential for important health consequences, written notices of eligibility criteria, rights, denial, loss, or decreases in benefits or services, actions affecting parental custody or child support, and other hearings, notices advising LEP persons of free language assistance, written tests that do not assess English language competency, but test competency for a particular license, job or skill for which knowing English is not required, or applications to participate in a recipient's program or activity or to receive recipient benefits or services.

21 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary Does this apply to the private sector?  All recipients of USDHHS and Federal financial assistance channeled by the NCDHHS either directly or indirectly, through a grant, contract or subcontract are covered.  Common types of Federal assistance can be defined as loans, grants, grants and loans of federal property, use of equipment and donation of surplus property, training and any other agreement or contract to provide assistance.  Examples of common recipients may be hospitals, home health care agencies, managed care organizations, universities and other health or social service research programs.  Physicians and other providers (especially, clinics) who receive federal financial assistance (Medicaid and Medicare).

22 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary What is the “real” penalty for non- compliance with Title VI?  Loss of federal funds  Loss of future federal and state funding  Subject to legal actions from the NCDHHS, legal services organizations and private individuals.  Possible “Informed Consent” issues which could lead to medical malpractice charges for both the public and private sector.  The U.S. Dept. of Justice or the Office for Civil Rights still have the authority to investigate claims of discrimination.

23 NCDHHS Office of the Secretary NCDHHS Title VI contact information M. Terry Hodges Compliance Attorney NCDHHS Office of the Secretary 2001 Mail Service Center Raleigh, North Carolina (919) Fax (919)


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