Monthly Archives: April 2013

HHS offers updated guidance on removing disparities, promoting equality in healthcare –via

HHS on Wednesday released enhanced standards to help health and healthcare organizations promote health equity, advance quality and remove disparities in healthcare. HHS’ Office of Minority Health developed the National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards in Health and Health Care, which update initial standards that were released in 2000. HHS cited an estimate from its Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality that the cost of insufficient and inequitable healthcare related to racial and ethnic health disparities is more than $1 trillion. .

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Guest: Court services for kids, interpreters slashed in state budget proposals —via Seattle Times

The state Senate budget, if passed, would hurt the people who come to court for justice, writes guest columnist Deborah Fleck.

COURTS are about people, not just attorneys or judges. That’s why it is so disturbing to know that the state Senate budget, if passed, would hurt the people who come to court for justice.

The Senate budget would result in a loss of $8 million to trial courts and the agency providing direct services to these courts.

That draconian cut would slash court services and people being hurt, such as children whose parents are accused of abuse or neglect, and those who cannot speak English.

The House budget is far better for the people using our court system, but it still cuts $12 million from truancy funding. That money is important because keeping kids in school has significant benefits — to them, in getting jobs and staying out of the criminal justice system and, to society, in terms of them becoming taxpaying members.

Washington state is dead last, 50th out of 50 states, in state money spent on trial courts. The budget for the entire judicial branch does not account for even 1 percent  of the entire state operating budget.

To read more of this article courtesy of the Seattle Times, click the link below.

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Courthouse interpreters making sure nothing’s lost in translation–via


BLOOMINGTON – Navigating the court system can be challenging, but if a person involved in a criminal case or lawsuit doesn’t speak English, the language barrier can have serious consequences.

Rosario Joyce is one of a half-dozen translators who comes to the McLean County Law and Justice Center in Bloomington every day to check court dockets for defendants who may need an interpreter when they go before a judge. The service is coordinated through Bloomington’s Western Avenue Community Center as part of its outreach program to the Hispanic community.

Translation services are crucial for defendants, said Joyce.

“I do this so people can understand what they are being charged with, what is being said about them and they can defend themselves,” said Joyce, who also interprets for doctors, hospitals, lawyers — “anywhere they need interpreters.”

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Advocates to seek law requiring interpreters for D.C. pharmacies

A coalition of immigration and health care advocates will launch a campaign on Monday urging the D.C. government to require pharmacies to provide interpreters for customers with limited English skills, a measure that could lead city lawmakers to mandate for the first time that the private sector offer language services.

“It’s definitely a life or death thing,” said Sapna Pandya, the executive director of D.C.-based Many Languages One Voice. “90 million Americans have trouble understanding prescriptions. They are challenging to understand even if you are an English speaker.”

Under the proposal Pandya and other supporters are pressing, pharmacies that receive any kind of money from the government — including Medicare or Medicaid payments — would have to offer free interpretation services and translated medication labels in many instances…..

To read more of this article courtesy of the Examine, click the link below.

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Deaf interpreters facing higher standards in State of Washington

Deaf students will be the beneficiaries if the higher standards being considered by the legislature and the Professional Education Standards Board (PESB) go into effect.  Yesterday, the Senate unanimously approved SHB 1144 only after it was amended to delay the National standards going into effect in the 2019-20 school year.

However, by the 2016-17 school year, all interpreters will have to pass a state assessment or they will not be allowed to interpret.  The PESB is in the process of adopting the assessment that interpreters will have to take.

The House will have to approve the changes made in the Senate before SHB 1144 is sent to the Governor for his consideration.

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