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DWD-DET WIOA EO/CR FAQ - Element 4: Universal Access and Affirmative Outreach

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Questions related to the Civil Rights Center (CRC) memo on the usage of a "translation/interpretation refusal form" and whether a WIOA recipient or subrecipient may have a policy to provide service in a language other than an individual’s "preferred language" if the individual says they do not need it: (The following three questions apply)

CRC's Memo excerpts:

  • Recipients must convey vital information in the applicant, registrant, participant, and terminee' s preferred language.
  • A recipient is prohibited from seeking to obtain a waiver via policy or otherwise.
  • For languages spoken by a significant portion of the population, a recipient is required to translate vital information in written materials into these languages in advance of any request by a particular LEP individual and to make the translations readily available in hard copy, upon request, or electronically such as on a Web site.
  • For languages that are not spoken by a significant portion of the population, a recipient must take reasonable steps to meet the particularized language needs of LEP individuals. Vital information may be conveyed orally if not translated."
  • The requirement for recipients to provide vital information in other languages is mandatory and cannot be waived; states cannot ask LEP individuals to “opt out” of this requirement.
  • The regulations allow recipients to “permit” that communication be facilitated by individuals accompanying LEP persons only in specified circumstances. If no emergency is present, an adult (not a minor child) accompanying the LEP individual may “interpret or facilitate communication” only where:
    • The information conveyed is of minimal importance to the services to be provided; or
    • All of the following criteria are satisfied:
      • The LEP individual specifically requests that the accompanying adult provide language assistance; and
      • the accompanying adult agrees to provide assistance; and
      • reliance on that adult for such assistance is appropriate under the circumstances.
    In these circumstances (those not involving an emergency), the recipient “must make and retain a record of the LEP individual's decision to use their own interpreter.
  • Thus, the LEP individual should initiate the request to have the accompanying adult provide language services. Therefore, it is inappropriate for the recipient to present the LEP individual with a “translation/interpretation refusal form” unless the LEP individual has asked that the adult accompanying them provide language assistance.
  • As the regulations explicitly state, reliance on the accompanying adult to facilitate the communication must be “appropriate under the circumstances.” The recipient must “permit" the accompanying adult to provide such assistance.”

CRC calls this form a waiver. The form would be used only when needed, such as when the LEP individual has asked that an adult accompany them to provide language assistance. The form does not need to be in every participant's file; bullets number 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7 above also address this question.

Correct, career planners must not use the form in the manner described above. CRC calls the form a waiver and must only be used for participants that decide to use their own interpreter. Bullets 6, 7, and 8 address these two questions.