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Language Access

Language Access Interpreter services for non-English proficient consumers are essential to quality health care; effective communication is necessary for positive outcomes.

CCHCC is developing programs and community organizing efforts in order to improve access to health care for non-English proficient consumers locally. The Champaign County community has many different populations for whom English is not the primary language, and who experience barriers in access to health care because of the lack of appropriate and adequate translation services offered by health care providers. CCHCC’s current efforts are focused on consumer and community education about people’s rights to translation services (based on Title VI of the Civil Rights Act), and also on developing Spanish-language programs within CCHCC.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin by any person or institution receiving federal funding for programs or activities. Simply stated, the Civil Rights Act includes protections for people of different nationalities who do not speak English well. In health care settings, this means that providers who receive federal funding must work to ensure that patients with limited English skills have meaningful access to any program services and benefits that are offered to other patients.

All health care providers who are committed to providing quality health care must consider the language and cultural needs of their clients. CCHCC’s Consumer Health Hotline trains Advocates to help patients assert their rights to access interpreter services. CCHCC also has a Spanish translation project that is working to make all of CCHCC’s materials available in Spanish and provide interpreter services for the services that CCHCC provides to the community.

Please contact us if you need assistance obtaining interpreter services or would like to volunteer to work for greater language and cultural access in health care locally.

Common Health Care Terms in English & Spanish (pdf)

Interpreter Services in Health Care (2003)