The National Senior Citizens Law Center recently published a checklist for organizations serving clients with limited English proficiency (LEP), Best Practices for Reaching Out and Serving Limited English Proficient Clients (PDF). Under federal law, all organizations receiving federal funds are required to evaluate the language needs of their clients, develop a plan to meet those needs, and notify LEP individuals of their rights to assistance. This checklist provides tips on making an organization’s office environment and culture (i.e. signage, volunteer/staff training), communications (in-person, telephone, website, and written), outreach efforts of greater benefit to LEP clients. The checklist also covers the LEP assistance requirements for Social Security, Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans and Part D prescription drug plans, and lists where to file a complaint if these requirements are not met. For more information on the federal and state laws and policies regarding organizations and agencies making their services accessible to people with limited English proficiency, see our article, “Are Your Services Available to Those Who Need Them?” Some other related articles with excellent resources include:
About Karen Fletcher
Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.