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Oregon WIC Program State Staff Civil Rights Training June 2012 WIC staff training 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Oregon WIC Program State Staff Civil Rights Training June 2012 WIC staff training 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Oregon WIC Program State Staff Civil Rights Training June 2012 WIC staff training 2012

2 Topics Understanding civil rights Identifying and handling complaints Limited English Proficiency requirements Reasonable accommodations Effective public notification Collection of racial and ethnic data Compliance review


4 What is discrimination? Discrimination is the practice or action of treating people unfairly or differently from others based on stereotypes and prejudice.

5 WIC civil rights requirements Do not discriminate based on the protected classes Conduct public notification, including outreach to underserved communities Collect and report data on race/ethnicity Accommodate people with disabilities Provide other language services for LEP participants and applicants

6 WIC civil rights requirements Understand complaint procedures and process Promptly resolve noncompliance issues Resolve conflicts and provide good customer service

7 Examples Differences in wait times Facilities not accessible to people with disabilities (mobility, sight, hearing, etc.) Requiring a person with limited English to bring own interpreter or failing to advise them that one can be provided at no cost Treating people disrespectfully because of their membership in a protected class


9 Discrimination and civil rights Discrimination involving one of the six federally protected classes may lead to a civil rights complaint

10 What are the 6 “protected classes” in the WIC program? Age Color Disability National origin Race Sex

11 Some categories that are not protected classes Being a WIC participant Religion Sexual orientation Political beliefs

12 Right to file complaint Anyone may file a civil rights complaint if they think they have been discriminated against based on any of WIC’s six protected classes. Complaints must be filed within 180 days of the original incident. All complaints must be accepted (whether written, verbal or anonymous). Never discourage individuals or groups from filing complaints or voicing concerns.

13 First we get a complaint… Complaint is made to local agency staff person: they enter it in TWIST and flag it as a civil rights complaint or call/e-mail us to report it; OR Complaint is made directly to our office: in writing or by phone; OR Complaints may be referred from a third party: governor’s office, Congressional offices, store.

14 What if the complaint is about someone on the state staff? From a local agency: contact the USDA Western Region office directly From another state staff person: contact the person’s manager

15 Documenting the complaint Enter all the information you can on the TWIST complaint screen, including who, what, when, why, where. Note anything that relates to one of the protected classes. Check the “Civil Rights” box. Exception: complaints against staff are not entered into TWIST.

16 Not sure? Try and find out what happened from the participant’s perspective. Flag it as a “Civil Rights” complaint so that coordinator can investigate further. Make sure participants knows their rights! They can file a civil rights complaint based on any of the six protected classes within 180 days of the event.

17 Some examples: is this a civil rights complaint? 1. Store didn’t allow the shopper to buy an authorized food, and she feels they are racist towards Hispanic people 2. Participant reports that store employees are rude and the checkers complain about having to do WIC transactions 3. Deaf participant says clinic doesn’t provide interpreter and insists appointments must be made over phone.

18 Once complaint is received… Civil rights coordinator contacts the complainant to get information on the incident and explain their right to file a formal complaint. May follow up with staff, store, or other involved parties as necessary. Information is entered in a tracking log. Complaint status is updated in TWIST as actions are taken.

19 If someone decides to file an official complaint State office will gather info and forward to USDA within 10 days of original complaint USDA performs an official investigation within 90 days, issues finding stating actions to be taken (if any) Findings could include actions to be taken against a store that has been found to be in violation

20 If someone doesn’t file a civil rights complaint with USDA… State office will still talk to staff or store about how to handle situation differently in future May provide appropriate referrals for follow- up services Coordinator will update complaint record in TWIST and complaint log State office sends complainant a letter reminding them of their rights in case they change their mind


22 Top 6 languages spoken by WIC participants

23 Requirements for language assistance for LEP individuals When a significant number of participants (current or potential) need information or services in a language other than English, federal guidelines say we must take reasonable steps to provide it in the appropriate language

24 Which materials do we translate? All written materials are translated into any language spoken by more than 10% of participants statewide. Critical materials (Food List, outreach materials, etc.) are translated into additional languages and provided in either print or electronically. Requirement does not apply to materials targeting vendors.

25 Available materials PublicationLanguages Food ListEnglish, Spanish (print) Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese, Somali (online) Arabic (starting with April 1, 2013 release) Participant Signature FormEnglish, Spanish (print) Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese, Somali, Arabic (online) What Proof to Bring to WICEnglish, Spanish (print) Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese, Somali, Arabic (online) Rights and ResponsibilitiesEnglish, Spanish (print) Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese, Somali, Arabic (online) Outreach brochureEnglish, Spanish (print) Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese, Somali, Arabic (online) WIC folderEnglish, Spanish (print) Breast pump formsEnglish, Spanish (print)

26 Requirements for local agencies Other services may be needed at local clinics to meet needs of LEP participants, including: Oral language services (telephone language lines, interpreters, bilingual staff) Written language services (translation of office specific forms and materials) See Policy 452 for guidance.


28 Reasonable accommodation means… WIC programs are required to provide accommodation to participants with disabilities to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to receive WIC services.

29 Examples Provide materials in alternate formats as needed, i.e. Braille, large-print, etc. Ensure clinic sites are wheelchair accessible. Provide a sign language interpreter for participants with hearing impairments. See Policy 452 for guidance. For more information on ADA guidelines:


31 Some components of effective public notification Make program info available to the public Display “And Justice for All poster” Offer info in alternate formats for people with disabilities Provide information in languages other than English based on needs of current and potential participants Ensuring that photos and messages used in materials reflect diversity Include nondiscrimination statement

32 Non-discrimination statement All outreach materials and handouts or websites that convey information about WIC services and benefits must include the USDA non-discrimination statement See Policy 452 for full text and use whenever you can If there is limited space: “WIC is an equal opportunity program and employer.” Exceptions: small promotional items like pens, buttons, magnets, etc. Local agency may have additional requirements

33 When is the statement not required? Nutrition education materials that are mostly only provided to participants and do not address services that WIC provides do not need to include the full statement

34 Non-discrimination statement Long form: In accordance with Federal Law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave, SW, Washington DC 20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (voice). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity employer and provider. Short form: USDA is an equal opportunity employer and provider.

35 Outreach activities Local programs must do outreach activities at least once a year to tell potential participants about WIC. This includes efforts to reach underserved racial/ethnic groups, individuals who don’t speak English, and people with disabilities. See Policy 470 for guidance.


37 Why do we have to ask about race and ethnicity? To ensure that we are effectively reaching potential participants and underserved groups. To help us better identify, reach and serve our participants and the eligible population. These should not be left blank in TWIST

38 Participants must be asked to identify their race & ethnicity Remind them that this is for statistical use and does not affect their eligibility determination. If participant refuses to self-identify, staff must enter their race and ethnicity in TWIST based on visual identification.

39 What are the categories? Race: American Indian/Alaskan Native Asian Black/African American Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander White Ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino Not Hispanic or Latino


41 Compliance review techniques USDA Western Region staff review state and local WIC programs for civil rights compliance. LAs are reviewed for civil rights compliance during the biennial WIC review and the triennial review.

42 Did you know…? A civil rights assurance is included in the Financial Assistance Award contract that is signed each year by local WIC programs. This is required in order to receive Federal funds.

43 Resolution of non-compliance Any findings related to civil rights will be provided in writing to the local program immediately. Nutrition consultants and Community Liaison staff work with local programs to resolve any findings of non-compliance within 60 days.

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