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Dialysis Clinics and Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws, LEP (pg. 5)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Pg. 5

EO 13166

In addition to ensuring that its services and facilities are accessible to the disabled, dialysis facilities must also ensure that its services are meaningfully accessible to limited English proficient (LEP) persons—those who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English—under EO 13166. EO 13166, signed by President Clinton on Aug. 11, 2000, was intended, in part, to better enforce and implement an existing prohibition against national origin discrimination under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Given the life sustaining services provided by dialysis facilities, a facility is required to develop and implement a language assistance plan after first conducting an assessment of the number or proportion of LEP persons eligible to be served or likely to be encountered, the frequency with which LEP individuals come into contact with the facility, the linguistic and financial resources available to the facility, and the projected costs of interpretation and translation services. The language assistance plan must then address the identified needs of the LEP populations served by the facility. The plan should identify LEP individuals who need language assistance, the language assistance measures to be implemented by the staff, training procedures relating to the plan for the staff, how to provide notice to LEP persons, such as posting signs, and procedures to monitor and update the plan.

The language assistance plan should also identify “vital” documents or portions of documents that should be translated into the language of the various frequently-encountered LEP groups. In determining which documents or portions of documents are “vital,” a dialysis facility should assess the consequences to the LEP person if the information in question is not provided in their native language accurately or in a timely manner.

The LEP person should be made aware that he has the option of having the dialysis facility provide an interpreter for him, without charge, or of using his own interpreter, which typically is a family member or friend. However, if there are concerns over competency, confidentiality, privacy or conflicts of interest in using a family member or friend, then except in exigent circumstances, a facility should provide the LEP person with a translator.

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