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Department Policy 9.8 Communicating With People With Limited English Proficiency


Created April 2010
Revised August 2013
Approved by Karin McGowan, Interim Executive Director, August 2013
This policy implements the standards of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, including the policy guidance, “Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons.”
In accordance with the language of the policy, people who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, speak, write or understand English are defined as “limited English proficient.” The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shall take steps necessary to ensure people with limited English proficiency have meaningful access and an equal opportunity to participate fully in its services, activities, programs or other benefits. This policy is applicable any time a person with limited English proficiency seeks services from the department.
The department is dedicated to diversity and the provision of its services to all Coloradans. Individuals with limited English proficiency are entitled to equal opportunity and meaningful access to services, activities and other department benefits. To effectively meet the needs of such individuals, the department has adopted a centralized model to readily provide staff access to professional interpretation and translation services. The purpose of this model is to help promote health equity and environmental justice by providing meaningful access to programs and services for people with limited English proficiency by:
  • Reducing the language barrier.
  • Improving customer service.
  • Creating greater efficiencies for department staff.
  • Providing higher-quality communications for linguistically diverse audiences.
The department will take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to services for people with limited English proficiency. It is the responsibility of the appointing authority for each division to make staff aware of this policy and implement it in his or her division.
All department contracts will include the contractor’s obligations to comply with Title VI limited English proficiency requirements.