Language Assistance

The Council is charged with identifying priorities and creating recommendations to the Legislature and Governor to eliminate health disparities by race, ethnicity, and gender in Washington. One way we accomplish this is by improving the availability of culturally and linguistically appropriate health literature and interpretive services. We have initiated a number of activities and developed recommendations related to this requirement including:

  • Implementing a grant project to promote adoption of the Enhanced National Standards of Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS Standards).
  • Facilitating an Interagency LEP Workgroup of state agency employees to share best practices and leverage resources in providing language assistance services. For more information on the Interagency LEP Workgroup or to be added to the distribution list, please contact us at healthequity@sboh.wa.gov
  • Approving a set of language access recommendations at the Council's May 2014 meeting—recommendations are included in its Language Access Policy Paper and in the Council's June 2014 Update report.
  • Adding recommendations specifically related to language access in its 2010 Action plan.
  • Organizing a panel presentation to hear from experts about activities to address language access at its September 25, 2008 meeting.
  • Convening the Community Forum on Health Equities on May 28, 2008 in Tacoma.
  • Convening the Public Forum on Language, Culture, and Health Care on September 19, 2007 in Tumwater.
  • Contracting with the Cross Cultural Health Care Program to conduct focus groups and interviews to understand and assess the availability of culturally and linguistically appropriate health education materials.
  • Organizing a community meeting focus group with Spanish-speaking individuals in Tacoma.
  • Seeking input through public input surveys.