About - Volatia News

'Meaningful access': What it means for your business

December 16, 2017 Compliance

'Meaningful access': What it means for your business

We talk a lot about "meaningful access" in the language services industry. After all, it’s one of the legal standards by which most of our clients are measured. Nearly every organization, agency or program that receives federal funding of any kind is required to provide limited-English-proficiency individuals with "meaningful access" to its services.

But what is "meaningful access," and what does it look like in the day-to-day operation of your business? Let’s start with some background.

'Meaningful access': What it means for your business

We talk a lot about "meaningful access" in the language services industry. After all, it's one of the legal standards by which most of our clients are measured. Nearly every organization, agency or program that receives federal funding of any kind is required to provide limited-English-proficiency individuals with "meaningful access" to its services.

But what is "meaningful access," and what does it look like in the day-to-day operation of your business? Let’s start with some background.

Why "meaningful access"?

Protection for LEP individuals was first provided by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 , which prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin. This protection was underscored in 2000 when President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13166, "Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency."The order states: "Each Federal agency shall also work to ensure that recipients of Federal financial assistance (recipients) provide meaningful access to their LEP applicants and beneficiaries."

Stated more plainly, recipients of federal funds must ensure that programs normally provided in English are accessible to LEP individuals. Failure to comply is a violation of the executive order and of Title VI.

What organizations must comply?

Obviously, federal agencies must provide meaningful access, but unfortunately it’s not that simple. Federal funding touches all kinds of organizations in direct and indirect ways. As a result, the meaningful access standard applies to thousands of organizations across many sectors, including healthcare, education, communications, legal, real estate/housing, transportation, utilities and many others.

How does an organization get started?

What meaningful access means and what it looks like in the day-to-day operations of a business will vary from organization to organization. To help businesses comply with EO 13166, the U.S. Department of Justice has created a four-factor analysis that provides a framework for self-assessment. The factors include:

  • Demographics: How many LEP individuals from a particular language group does your organization serve? The greater the number, the more likely language assistance services are required.
  • Frequency of contact: How often does your organization encounter LEP individuals?
  • Importance: How important are your services to the lives of LEP persons? Would denial of access have serious implications?
  • Resources: What resources (both financial and otherwise) are available to provide language services, and would doing so cause an undue burden?

For most businesses, providing meaningful access involves some mix of internal and external resources. A health system, for example, might employ a Spanish interpreter but partner with a language services provider such as VOLATIA to bridge other language gaps.

How can VOLATIA help?

When we first meet with a potential new client, we do a basic assessment of the existing language access plan, if there is one. Our examination revolves around three main areas:

  • What is the current state of compliance by the organization? (Or even more simply: What do you do when you encounter an LEP client or patient?)
  • What are the desired outcomes of the language access plan?
  • What is the current level of satisfaction with the program through the eyes of the service provider?

This no-cost analysis helps us start a conversation that ends in a much clearer picture of how language services can be woven into your company’s operations and culture to help you provide meaningful access to LEP individuals.

Every day, VOLATIA helps businesses develop language access plans that bring them into compliance with the meaningful access standard and create a model for 21st-century customer service.Contact us today to schedule an assessment and to learn more about making VOLATIA your language partner.



Recent Posts

Categories

All
Compliance
Events
Media

Industry News

Google Assistant's New 'Interpreter' Mode Can Translate 27 Languages in Real Time
Move over, Google Translate. The Google Assistant's new Interpreter mode can translate spoken French, Spanish, and 25 other languages into English (and vice versa) in real tim...
Google Is Clearing the Air of Foul AI With Its Stab at a Universal Language Translator
Last year was a rough one on AI’s public profile, and rightfully so. Major programs powered by machine learning, like Amazon’s recruiting software, were revealed to be biased ...
UPDATE: The World's First WIFI-based Translator (JoneR Translator) Debuting in 2019 CES
At present, the JoneR Translator supports the translation of 53 languages and 73 accents, including Chinese-to-foreign language and foreign-to-foreign language translations; t...
Trump’s interpreters for Putin meetings face ethical dilemma
I teach M.A. students of translation and interpretation and ... communication between parties who use different languages. Interpreters are not responsible for the content of ...
Google unveils instant language translator that lets people hold conversations in real time
It says the service will make it easier for hotel concierge desks to check guests in. The technology could also be used at airports and train stations, or make business presen...
Google Assistant will soon be able to translate conversations on-the-fly with ‘Interpreter Mode’
From there, the translation happens in both directions ... It’ll work in 27 languages at launch. Interpreter Mode will come first to Google Home speakers and smart displays li...
This wearable AI translator lets you talk freely and naturally in different languages
Mashable is a global, multi-platform media and entertainment company. Powered by its own proprietary technology, Mashable is the go-to source for tech, digital culture and ent...
Google Assistant’s new ‘Interpreter Mode’ serves as real-time translator for hotel guests
which turns devices like the Google Home Hub into a translator for people speaking different languages, and a new partnership with hotels in Las Vegas, San Francisco and New Y...
An interpreter explains why the keeper of Trump’s meeting with Putin faces an ethical dilemma
I teach M.A. students of translation and interpretation and ... everything that is said is conveyed accurately in the other language. The code of ethics for professional confe...
CES 2019: iFLYTEK's Translator 2.0 works with 63 languages
Every year at CES, I like to take a look at some of the translation products that are coming out. We all live in a connected world now, and it seems that while the problem of ...
Google Partners Wikipedia to Expand in Translation Space
Alphabet’s GOOGL division Google is leaving no stone unturned to bolster presence in the digital language translator space on the back of its strategic partnerships. Recently,...