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Office of Mental Health

Home and Community Based Services Waiver
Guidance Document
Division of Children and Families


Access to Waiver Services for Limited English Proficiency

Waiver providers (ICCs) must make arrangements to provide interpretation or translation services for waiver participants who require these services. This may be accomplished through a variety of means, including: employing culturally competent, bi-lingual staff, resources from the community (e.g. local colleges), and contracted interpreters. Non-English speaking waiver participants may bring a translator of their choice with them to meetings with waiver providers. However, waiver applicants or participants are not required to bring their own translator, and waiver applicants or participants cannot be denied access to waiver services on the basis of provider’s difficulty in obtaining qualified translators. Waiver providers are required to have a policy in place that outlines procedures facilitating interpretation or translation services. This policy is to be shared with waiver participants and explained in a manner that permits comprehension of their options regarding language access.

OMH Bureau of Cultural Competence is responsible for promoting effective changes in policy, procedure, and practices designed to ensure that diverse cultures are considered in all aspects of service delivery within the behavioral health system for New York State. Our objective is to provide guidance and technical assistance to help facilitate compliance with applicable federal and State laws, regulations, standards, and policies.

    Cultural Competence - Regulations

OMH Bureau of Cultural Competence provides a resource list of Interpreter and/or Translator services for providers and agencies to assist them in acquiring Language Access services that meets the consumer and family needs.

    Cultural Competence - Translation