March 29, 2011
ATLANTA (GA) – The Georgia Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Office of Limited English Proficient and Sensory Impaired Client Services (LEP/SI) has been recognized by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University as a Bright Idea recipient. The LEP/SI program was recognized along with 35 other national government initiatives for their unique solutions to delivering quality health care and education to underserved populations. LEP/SI is the office responsible for providing interpreter and language services to consumers that visit DHS’ 400 offices statewide.
“The Limited English Proficiency/Sensory Impaired program transformed the delivery of language services from a cadre of 250 individual interpreters across the state to a language brokering service delivered by six service providers,” said DHS LEP/SI Program Manager Katherine Cadena. “During this current economic climate, this service has resulted in significant cost-savings for the program while increasing access to valuable language services.”
LEP/SI worked and contracted with six language service providers resulting in a partnership called Value Added Resources (VARS). This statewide service provider partnership has allowed those that speak an estimated 55 different languages across the state to receive interpreter services within a four-hour window.
Before the establishment of VARS, office representatives/caseworkers would too often make several calls to identify signed or spoken language interpreter availability. Each office can now access a qualified interpreter by making only one call for service versus the previous multiple, time consuming series of calls.
Learn more about the DHS Office of Limited English Proficient and Sensory Impaired Client Services.
About the Office of Limited English Proficient and Sensory Impaired Client Services (LEP/SI)
In July 2002, the Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS), in collaboration with the Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and local advocacy groups, developed its “Plan for Client Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency and Sensory Impairment”. This Plan established a point of contact for the design, coordination, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of limited English proficiency and sensory impairment customer services. The LEP/SI Program serves as the overall point of contact.
About the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
The Roy and Lila Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation advances excellence and innovation in governance and public policy through research, education, and public discussion. Three major programs support our mission: the Program on Democratic Governance; the Innovations in Government Program; and the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia. For more information, visit www.ash.harvard.edu.
Media contact: Ravae Graham(404) 657-1384