Language Access Requirements

  1. Titles VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that no person in the United States, shall on the grounds of race, color or national origin be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity for which the Provider/Contractor receives Federal/State financial assistance from the Department.

    Specifically, providers of client services shall develop clear, written communication policies, procedures and plans; and provide and document training in order to ensure that staff can communicate meaningfully with applicants/clients and/or family members who are limited English proficient (LEP); determine and document the primary language of applicants/clients and/or family members, and ensure that bi-lingual workers or qualified interpreters will be provided at no cost to the applicant/client at all points of interaction necessary. This may necessitate a contract with an interpreter referral service or telephonic interpreter provider.
    The Provider further stipulates that services will be provided in a culturally sensitive and linguistically accessible manner.

  2. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that no otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States shall, solely by reason of his handicap be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination under any program or activity for which the Provider/Contractor receives Federal/State financial assistance from the Department.

    Specifically, providers shall develop clear, written communication policies, procedures and plans; and provide and document training in order to ensure that staff can communicate meaningfully with applicants/clients and/or family members who are deaf, hard or hearing, late deafened, speech impaired and/or nonverbal. The Provider will provide visible or tactile alarms for safety and privacy, and/or assistive listening devices (ALDs) when necessary and train staff in the use of appropriate adaptive equipment. The Provider shall obtain the services of a qualified, licensed sign language interpreter or other adaptive service such as CART or C-Print at no expense to the applicant/client or family member.

    Telephone Access:

    Providers who offer services to the general public, and can reasonably expect to get calls from the public at large, shall be knowledgeable regarding the use of Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) hereinafter referred to as Relay, in its various forms, including the acceptance of TTY calls, video relay calls, or speech-to-speech calls. Providers should ensure that appropriate staff have been received training in accepting, effectively participating in, and placing Relay calls. Agencies that purchase specific telecommunications equipment related to deafness or hearing loss, such as telecommunication devices for the deaf (TTY or TDD) or videophones (VP), shall periodically test such equipment and ensure that appropriate staff are trained it the use of such equipment. TTY and VP numbers should be published on all provider stationary, letterhead, business cards, etc. and in the local telephone directory as well as the statewide TTY/VP directory.

Resources available to assist providers to meet these obligations:

Maine Multicultural Resource Guide: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oma/MulticulturalResource/index.html

Maine Deaf Resource Guide: http://www.maine.gov/rehab/dod/resource_guide/