WSR 97-13-082

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES

(Language Interpreter Services and Translation)

[Filed June 18, 1997, 10:37 a.m.]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Ensuring equal access and due process requirements for non-English speaking individuals seeking departmental services by regulating interpretation and translation services.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 2.43.070(6), 26.50.035(5), 26.50.055(2), 49.60.010, 74.04.025, 74.04.050, and 74.04.057, Reyes v. Thompson, United States District Court for Western District of Washington 1991 (Stipulation, Agreement of settlement and consent order), Title VI Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: State law requires the Department of Social and Health Services to provide equal access to agency services. RCW 74.04.050 and 74.04.057 require the department to administer public assistance programs and promulgate rules to qualify for federal funds. RCW 74.04.025 requires the department to insure bilingual services are provided to non-English speaking applicants. The regulations are intended to assure that these persons are not denied benefits due to their inability to speak and understand English.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: Washington State: Department of Social and Health Services, WAC 388-08-525; Department of Health, WAC 246-10-122; Department of Licensing, WAC 308-20-155(c); Federal: Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and federal regulations issued pursuant to these acts (Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 80 and 84). Representatives from the previous agreements made between the Department of Social and Health Services and other interested parties regarding agency interpreters will be contacted and invited to participate in the rule-making process.

Process for Developing New Rule: The Department of Social and Health Services will send notice of the proposed rules regarding interpreter and translation services to all those persons on the language interpreter services and translation mailing and e-mail list, and welcome public participation through comments and public meetings to be held throughout the rule-making process.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Hungling Fu, Ph.D, Language Interpreter Services and Translation, Department of Social and Health Services, P.O. Box 45820, Olympia, WA 98504-5820, phone (360) 902-8113, e-mail FUHX@dshs.wa.gov, FAX (360) 902-8128.

June 18, 1997

Merry A. Kogut, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

Legislature Code Reviser

Register

Washington State Code Reviser's Office