Jump to:What is a Language Access Program? ● What are my rights under the Language Access Act? ● How can I apply for language assistance? ● Can I use my own interpreter? ● What should I do if my language access rights are violated? ● Where can I get more information?

What is the Language Access Program?

No matter what language you speak, you have the right to receive information and services from the Washington government. The Language Access Program works with Washington agencies to exercise this right for residents, workers, and visitors who do not speak English or have limited English proficiency (LEP/NEP). ). Established under the Language Access Act of 2004, the Language Access Program is run by the Washington Office of the Cursed Person.

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What are my rights under the Language Access Act

?The Language Access Act of 2004 requires all agencies, departments, programs, contractors, and organizations that receive funds Washington government policy must provide you with the following services at no cost to you.

Translating (written documents into your own language) Interpreting (communication spoken in your language) Signboards (displaying information in your language)

Read the Washington Language Access Act of 2004.


The Washington government must translate any documents you need to learn about or to apply for services and programs. Depending on the agency involved, in addition to important documents, these may include applications, notices, consent forms, and printed or online correspondence.


When you communicate with a Washington government agency in person or by phone, the agency must have a professional interpreter who speaks your language. Interpreters can be bilingual staff, professional interpreters onsite or on the phone. Government officials ask if you need an interpreter at the outset of the transaction, but you can request an interpreter at any time.

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Customer service locations of all Washington agencies, departments, programs, contractors, and recipients must display signs informing you of your right to an interpreter and document has been translated. When you go to a government agency, you should see signs like the Language Identifier Card or the Desktop Language Identifier, with instructions in multiple languages ​​for requesting language assistance. language.

Language Identification Card

Desktop Language Specifier Table

How to get language assistance

? Washington government employees are trained to respond to customer interpreting needs when needed on the spot or by phone. Before looking for an interpreter, staff members try to identify your primary language or use the Language Identification Card or Desktop Board.

You can also tell us your language by showing our staff the “I Speak” card. The Washington Department of Human Rights distributes many of these wallet-sized cards in Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, French, Korean, Turkish, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.

You can download the Vietnamese version here

Can I use my own interpreter?

You should use a professional interpreter provided by the LC government. If you wish to use your own interpreter, you must waive your rights by signing a standard waiver in your language. If the waiver is not available in your language, the Washington government must use an interpreter to convey the document to you. Please note that all interpreters must be 18 years old.

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What should I do if my language access rights are violated

?Under the 2004 Language Access Act, agencies, departments, programs, contractors and organizations It is illegal to receive money from the Washington government that prevents you from accessing your services because you do not speak English. If you or you know someone who has been denied an interpreter or translated documents, contact the Washington Department of Human Rights to file a complaint:

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Call 202-727-4559 (interpreter will be available over the phone);

District of Columbia Office of Human RightsAttn: Language Access Program441 4th Street, N.W., Suite 570 NorthWashington, D.C. 20001

Where can I find out more information?

To learn more about the Language Access Program, contact the Human Rights Department:

Email: Phone: 202-727-4559 (Interpretation will be available over the phone.)

To find out about a specific agency’s language access services, contact that agency’s Language Access Coordinator.