Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 19. Government Language Accessibility.


Subchapter I. Interpreters.

§ 2–1901. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) “Appointing authority” means the presiding judge of any court of the District of Columbia, the chairperson of any District of Columbia board or commission, the director or commissioner of any department or agency of the District of Columbia, the Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia or the chairperson of any committee of the Council of the District of Columbia conducting a hearing, or any other person presiding at any hearing or other proceeding in which a qualified interpreter is required pursuant to this chapter.

(2) “Communication-impaired person” means a hearing-impaired person or a non-English or limited-English speaking person.

(3) “Hearing-impaired person” means a person who, because of a hearing impairment, cannot readily understand oral communications or who cannot communicate effectively through speech, and, if the communication at issue is in writing, who cannot communicate effectively in the written English language.

(3A) “Intermediary interpreter” means any person, including any hearing-impaired person, who is able to assist in providing an accurate interpretation between spoken English and sign language or between variants of sign language by acting as an intermediary between a hearing-impaired person and a qualified interpreter.

(4) “Non-English or limited-English speaking person” means a person who is unable to readily understand oral and written communications in the English language or who cannot communicate effectively in the spoken or written English language.

(5) “Qualified interpreter” means a person who is listed by the Office of Court Interpreter Services or the United States Department of State as being, or is otherwise found by the court to be, skilled in the language or form of communication needed to communicate fluently with a communication-impaired person and to translate or interpret information accurately to and from the communication-impaired person.

(6) “Qualified interviewer” means a person who is certified by the Metropolitan Police Department as being, or is otherwise found by the court to be, skilled in the language or form of communication needed to communicate fluently with a communication-impaired person.


(Jan. 28, 1988, D.C. Law 7-62, § 2, 34 DCR 7426; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-306, § 201(a), 53 DCR 8610.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2701.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-306 rewrote the section.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 201(a) of Omnibus Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-445, July 19, 2006, 53 DCR 6443).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 201(a) of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-490, October 18, 2006, 53 DCR 8686).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 201(a) of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-10, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1479).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 201(a) of Omnibus Public Safety Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-25, April 19, 2007, 54 DCR 4036).


§ 2–1902. Interpreters required.

(a) Whenever a communication-impaired person is a party or witness, or whenever a juvenile whose parent or parents are communication impaired is brought before a court at any stage of a judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding before a division or office of a court of the District of Columbia, including, but not limited to, civil and criminal court proceedings, proceedings before a commissioner, juvenile proceedings, child support and paternity proceedings, and mental health commitment proceedings, the appointing authority may appoint a qualified interpreter to interpret the proceedings to the communication-impaired person and to interpret the communication-impaired person’s testimony. The appointing authority shall appoint a qualified interpreter upon the request of the communication-impaired person.

(b) In any criminal, delinquency, or child neglect proceeding in which counsel has been appointed to represent an indigent defendant who is communication-impaired, a qualified interpreter shall be appointed to assist in communication with counsel in all phases of the preparation and presentation of the case.

(c) Whenever a communication-impaired person is a party or a witness in an administrative proceeding before a department, board, commission, agency, or licensing authority of the District of Columbia, the appointing authority conducting the proceeding may appoint a qualified interpreter to interpret the proceedings to the communication-impaired person and to interpret the communication-impaired person’s testimony. The appointing authority shall appoint a qualified interpreter upon the request of the communication-impaired person.

(d) Whenever a communication-impaired person is a witness before any legislative committee, the appointing authority conducting the proceeding may appoint a qualified interpreter to interpret the proceedings to the communication-impaired person and to interpret the communication-impaired person’s testimony. The appointing authority shall appoint a qualified interpreter upon the request of the communication-impaired person.

(e)(1) Whenever a communication-impaired person is arrested and taken into custody for an alleged violation of a criminal law, the arresting officer shall either:

(A) Procure a qualified interpreter to translate or interpret information to and from the person during any custodial interrogation, warning, notification of rights, or taking of a written or oral statement; or

(B) Have a qualified interviewer conduct the custodial interrogation, warning, notification of rights, or taking of a written or oral statement in a language other than English, including sign language.

(2) No person who has been arrested but who is otherwise eligible for release shall be held in custody pending arrival of a qualified interpreter or qualified interviewer.

(3) No answer, statement, or admission, written or oral, made by a communication-impaired person in reply to a question of a law enforcement officer may be used against that communication-impaired person in any criminal or delinquency proceeding unless the answer, statement, or admission was made or elicited through either a qualified interpreter or a qualified interviewer and was made knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently or, in the case of a waiver, unless the court makes a special finding upon proof by a preponderance of the evidence that the answer, statement, or admission made by the communication-impaired person was made knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently.

(4) A qualified interpreter shall be used to translate any statement taken by a qualified interviewer into English for use in any criminal or delinquency proceeding.


(Jan. 28, 1988, D.C. Law 7-62, § 3, 34 DCR 7426; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-306, § 201(b), 53 DCR 8610.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2702.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-306 rewrote subsec. (e), which had read as follows: “(e) Whenever a communication-impaired person is arrested and taken into custody for an alleged violation of a criminal law, the arresting officer shall procure a qualified interpreter for any custodial interrogation, warning, notification of rights, or taking of a statement. No person who has been arrested but who is otherwise eligible for release shall be held in custody pending arrival of an interpreter. No answer, statement, or admission, written or oral, made by a communication-impaired person in reply to a question of a law-enforcement officer in any criminal or delinquency proceeding may be used against that communication-impaired person unless either the answer, statement, or admission was made or elicited through a qualified interpreter and was made knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently or, in the case of a waiver, unless the court makes a special finding upon proof by a preponderance of the evidence that the answer, statement, or admission made by the communication-impaired person was made knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 201(b) of Omnibus Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-445, July 19, 2006, 53 DCR 6443).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 201(b) of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-490, October 18, 2006, 53 DCR 8686).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 201(b) of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-10, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1479).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 201(b) of Omnibus Public Safety Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-25, April 19, 2007, 54 DCR 4036).


§ 2–1903. Notice of need for interpreter.

(a) A communication-impaired person entitled to an interpreter under this chapter shall, if practicable, notify the appropriate appointing authority of the person’s need for an interpreter at least 5 business days prior to the person’s appearance. A failure to notify the appointing authority of the need for an interpreter is not a waiver of the right to an interpreter.

(b) An appointing authority, when it knows a communication-impaired person is, or will be coming before it, shall inform the communication-impaired person of the right to a qualified interpreter. In a judicial proceeding, when the court knows that a communication-impaired person will be before it, the court shall inform the party, or the parent of a juvenile who is a party, of the right of any communication-impaired person to a qualified interpreter.


(Jan. 28, 1988, D.C. Law 7-62, § 4, 34 DCR 7426.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2703.


§ 2–1904. Preliminary determination of interpreter’s qualifications.

Before appointing an interpreter, an appointing authority shall make a preliminary determination that the interpreter is able to accurately communicate with and translate information to and from the communication-impaired person involved. If the interpreter is not able to provide effective communication with the communication-impaired person, the appointing authority shall appoint another qualified interpreter.


(Jan. 28, 1988, D.C. Law 7-62, § 5, 34 DCR 7426.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2704.


§ 2–1905. Intermediary interpreter to be used.

In any proceeding involving a hearing-impaired person in which a qualified interpreter is unable to render a satisfactory interpretation without the aid of an intermediary interpreter, the hearing-impaired person involved may be permitted by the appointing authority to retain another person to act as an intermediary interpreter to assist the qualified interpreter during the proceedings.


(Jan. 28, 1988, D.C. Law 7-62, § 6, 34 DCR 7426.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2705.


§ 2–1906. Waiver.

(a) A communication-impaired person entitled to the services of an interpreter under this chapter may waive the services of a qualified interpreter in whole or in part. The waiver must be made in writing, or orally on the record, by the communication-impaired person following consultation with that person’s attorney. If the person does not have an attorney, the waiver must be made in writing by the communication-impaired person in that person’s written language and the waiver must be approved in writing, by the appointing authority.

(b) A communication-impaired person who has waived an interpreter under this section may provide his or her own interpreter at his or her own expense, without regard to whether the interpreter is qualified under this chapter.


(Jan. 28, 1988, D.C. Law 7-62, § 7, 34 DCR 7426.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2706.


§ 2–1907. Oath of interpreter.

Before an interpreter appointed under this chapter begins to interpret, the interpreter shall take an oath or affirmation that the interpreter will make a true interpretation in an understandable manner to and for the person for whom the interpreter is appointed to the best of the interpreter’s skills and judgment.


(Jan. 28, 1988, D.C. Law 7-62, § 8, 34 DCR 7426.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2707.


§ 2–1908. Privileged communications.

If a communication made by a communication-impaired person through an interpreter is privileged, the privilege extends also to the interpreter.


(Jan. 28, 1988, D.C. Law 7-62, § 9, 34 DCR 7426.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2708.


§ 2–1909. Interpreter in full view.

Whenever an interpreter is required to be appointed to assist a hearing-impaired person under this chapter, the appointing authority shall not commence proceedings until the appointed interpreter is in full view of and spatially situated so as to assure effective communication with the hearing-impaired person or persons involved as participants.


(Jan. 28, 1988, D.C. Law 7-62, § 10, 34 DCR 7426.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2709.


§ 2–1910. Visual recording.

In any proceeding involving a hearing-impaired person, an appointing authority, on the appointing authority’s own motion or on the motion of a party to the proceedings, may order that an electronic, visual recording of the testimony of the hearing-impaired person and its interpretation be made for use in verification of the official transcript of the proceedings.


(Jan. 28, 1988, D.C. Law 7-62, § 11, 34 DCR 7426.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2710.


§ 2–1911. Office of Interpreter Services.

(a) There is established an Office of Interpreter Services (“Office”) to facilitate the use of interpreters in administrative, judicial, and legislative proceedings in the District of Columbia.

(b) The duties and responsibilities of the Office shall include the following:

(1) The Office shall formulate and apply reasonable standards for evaluating the credentials and qualifications of persons who may serve as qualified interpreters in bilingual proceedings and proceedings involving hearing-impaired persons. In formulating and applying the standards for qualifications, the Office shall take into consideration such factors as education, training, experience, demonstrated current competence, and certification by a recognized private, federal, or state registry, board, or other organization that is determined by the Office to possess a sufficient level of competence, training, testing, and certification of interpreters in the particular language speciality of the interpreter.

(2) The Office shall establish and maintain a current list of qualified interpreters who are available to provide interpreter services in the District of Columbia. The list shall include the names of persons who are bilingual interpreters and oral or manual interpreters for hearing-impaired persons.

(3) The Office shall distribute the list of qualified interpreters to appointing authorities upon request.

(4) The Office shall coordinate all requests for interpreter services including scheduling and arranging to provide for all interpreter services requested by appointing authorities.

(5) The Office shall, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of this title, issue rules that prescribe a schedule of reasonable fees for services rendered by interpreters and shall establish rules governing the method of payment.

(6) The Office shall pay for the salaries, fees, expenses, and costs incident to providing interpreter services as set forth in § 2-1912.

(7) The Office may perform other duties and functions as are necessary to facilitate the use of interpreter services in the District of Columbia.

(c)(1) Whenever an interpreter is required under this chapter, the appointing authority shall request the Office to assist in locating a qualified interpreter to provide interpreter services. The Office shall promptly assist in locating an interpreter and shall assist with scheduling and arranging to provide for the interpreter services. If the circumstances are such that the appointing authority is unable, or it is impractical, to request the assistance of the Office in locating a qualified interpreter, the appointing authority may arrange for and appoint a qualified interpreter whose name is included on a list of interpreters maintained by the Office.

(2) If none of the listed interpreters is available and communication with a communication-impaired person is required to ascertain information relating to a medical emergency or to determine whether or not to permit that person’s immediate release from custody or detention, then the appointing authority shall appoint any person who is able to accurately and simultaneously communicate with and translate information to and from the particular communication-impaired person involved.

(d) In fulfilling the duties and responsibilities set forth in subsection (b) of this section, the Office may contract for interpreter services at a rate of compensation mutually agreed upon by the Office and the interpreter whose services are contracted for, compensate interpreters on an hourly rate or a per diem rate, employ interpreters on a full-time or part-time basis, use qualified volunteer services, or procure the services in any other method consistent with the District of Columbia law. The Office may, with the concurrence of an agency, department, or governmental entity, assign an interpreter to that agency, department, or governmental entity. The assignment shall be made in accordance with § 1-627.02.


(Jan. 28, 1988, D.C. Law 7-62, § 12, 34 DCR 7426; May 10, 1989, D.C. Law 7-231, § 39, 36 DCR 492.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2711.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority under D.C. Law 7-62, the Interpreters for the Hearing-Impaired & Non-English Speaking Persons Act of 1987, see Mayor’s Order 90-132, October 5, 1990.


§ 2–1912. Compensation and payments.

(a) An appointed interpreter shall receive a reasonable fee for the interpreter’s services.

(b) The salaries, fees, expenses, and costs incident to providing the services of interpreters under this chapter shall be paid for by the Office.

(c) Except in cases in which the communication-impaired person is financially unable to obtain adequate interpreter services, the appointing authority in any court of the District of Columbia may direct that all or part of the salaries, fees, expenses, and costs incurred for interpreter services be apportioned among the parties in a civil action or may be taxed as costs in a civil action.


(Jan. 28, 1988, D.C. Law 7-62, § 13, 34 DCR 7426.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2712.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1911.


§ 2–1912.01. Procedures to certify qualified interviewers.

Within 180 days of July 19, 2006, the Chief of Police shall develop and implement a General Order establishing procedures to certify qualified interviewers. The procedures shall include reasonable standards for evaluating the qualifications and credentials of persons who may serve as qualified interviewers. The standards shall take into consideration such factors as native speaking, education, training, experience, and demonstrated competence.


(Jan. 28, 1988, D.C. Law 7-62, § 13a; as added Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-306, § 201(b), 53 DCR 8610.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 201(c) of Omnibus Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-445, July 19, 2006, 53 DCR 6443).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 201(c) of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-490, October 18, 2006, 53 DCR 8686).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 201(c) of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-10, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1479).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 201(c) of Omnibus Public Safety Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-25, April 19, 2007, 54 DCR 4036).


Subchapter II. Language Access.

§ 2–1931. Definitions.

For purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “Access or participate” means to be informed of, participate in, and benefit from public services, programs, and activities offered by a covered entity at a level equal to English proficient individuals.

(2) “Covered entity” means any District government agency, department, or program that furnishes information or renders services, programs, or activities directly to the public or contracts with other entities, either directly or indirectly, to conduct programs, services, or activities. The term “covered entity” shall not include the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions.

(3)(A) “Covered entity with major public contact” means a covered entity whose primary responsibility consists of meeting, contracting, and dealing with the public.

(B) Covered entities with major public contact are:

(i) Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration;

(ii) Department of Health;

(iii) Department of Mental Health;

(iv) Department of Human Services;

(v) Department of Employment Services;

(vi) Fire and Emergency Medical Services;

(vii) District of Columbia Housing Authority;

(viii) District of Columbia general ambulatory and emergency care centers;

(ix) Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency;

(x) Metropolitan Police Department;

(xi) District of Columbia Public Schools;

(xii) Department of Motor Vehicles;

(xiii) Department of Housing and Community Development;

(xiv) Department of Public Works;

(xv) Department of Corrections;

(xvi) Department of Aging and Community Living;

(xvii) District of Columbia Public Library;

(xviii) Department of Parks and Recreation;

(xix) Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs;

(xx) Child and Family Services Agency;

(xxi) Office of Human Rights;

(xxii) Office of Personnel;

(xxiii) Office of Planning;

(xxiv) Office of Contracting and Procurement;

(xxv) Office of Tax and Revenue; and

(xxvi) Office of the People’s Counsel.

(xxvii) Not Funded.

(xxviii) Not Funded.

(xxix) Not Funded.

(xxx) Not Funded.

(xxxi) Not Funded.

(xxxii) Not Funded.

(xxxiii) Not Funded.

(xxxiv) Not Funded.

(xxxv) Not Funded.

(xxxvi) Not Funded.

(xxxvii) Not Funded.

(xxxviii) Not Funded.

(xxxix) Not Funded.

(xxxx) Not Funded.

(C) Other covered entities with major public contact may be designated by the Language Access Director through the Mayor, by regulation, after consultation with the D.C. Language Access Coalition in accordance with § 2-1935(b)(6).

(3A) Not Funded.

(4) “Language Access Director” means the official in the Office of Human Rights who, pursuant to § 2-1935, coordinates and supervises the activities of District agencies, departments, and programs undertaken to comply with the provisions of this subchapter.

(5) “Limited or no-English proficiency” means the inability to adequately understand or to express oneself in the spoken or written English language.

(5A) Not Funded.

(6) “Oral language services” means the provision of oral information necessary to enable limited or no-English proficiency residents to access or participate in programs or services offered by a covered entity. The term “oral language services” shall include placement of bilingual staff in public contact positions; the provision of experienced and trained staff interpreters; contracting with telephone interpreter programs; contracting with private interpreter services; and using interpreters made available through community service organizations that are publicly funded for that purpose.

(7) “Vital documents” means applications, notices, complaint forms, legal contracts, and outreach materials published by a covered entity in a tangible format that inform individuals about their rights or eligibility requirements for benefits and participation. The term “vital documents” shall include tax-related educational and outreach materials produced by the Office of Tax and Revenue, but shall not include tax forms and instructions. The term "vital documents" shall include all written materials that the Department of Motor Vehicle makes available to the public relating to obtaining or renewing a license, permit, or identification card under § 50-1401.01, § 50-1401.03, or § 50-1401.05, including application forms, study guides, examinations, and other similar materials. The term "vital documents" shall include written information and notifications sent to parents or guardians pursuant to § 38-825.01a(a)(2), (b)(2)(E)(iii), or (b)(2)(E)(v).


(June 19, 2004, D.C. Law 15-167, § 2, 51 DCR 4688; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-262, § 404, 54 DCR 794; Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-187, § 2, 63 DCR 14365; Sept. 23, 2017, D.C. Law 22-21, § 8, 64 DCR 7631; Mar. 29, 2019, D.C. Law 22-276, § 3(b)(1), 66 DCR 1721; Apr. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 22-282, § 2(a), 66 DCR 1606.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 4-754.11, § 32-131.09, § 44-301.03, and § 50-1401.01.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-262, in par. (3)(B)(ix), substituted “Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency” for “Emergency Management Agency”.

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-282: § 5 of D.C. Law 22-282 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(a) of D.C. Law 22-282 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Section 7019 of D.C. Law 22-168 amendeded section 11 of D.C. Law 22-21 removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the amendments made to this section by D.C. Law 22-21 have been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-21: § 11 of D.C. Law 22-21 provided that the change made to this section by § 8 of D.C. Law 22-21 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Authority for Rulemaking under the Language Access Act, see Mayor’s Order 2007-127, May 31, 2007 ( 54 DCR 9065).


§ 2–1932. Oral language services provided by covered entities.

(a) A covered entity shall provide oral language services to a person with limited or no-English proficiency who seeks to access or participate in the services, programs, or activities offered by the covered entity.

(b) A covered entity shall, at least annually, determine the type of oral language services needed based upon:

(1) The number or proportion of limited or no-English proficient persons of the population served or encountered, or likely to be served or encountered by the covered entity, in the District of Columbia;

(2) The frequency with which limited or no-English proficient individuals come into contact with the covered entity;

(3) The importance of the service provided by the covered entity; and

(4) The resources available to the covered entity.

(c)(1) In making the determination under subsection (b) of this section of the type of oral language services needed, the covered entity shall consult the following sources of data to determine the languages spoken and the number or proportion of limited or no-English proficient persons of the population that are served or encountered, or likely to be served or encountered, by the covered entity in the District of Columbia:

(A) The United States Census Bureau’s most current report entitled “Language Use and English Ability, Linguistic Isolation” (or any other successor report);

(B) Any other language-related information;

(C) Census data on language ability indicating that individuals speak English “less than very well”;

(D) Local census data relating to language use and English language ability;

(E) Other governmental data, including intake data collected by covered entities; data collected by the District of Columbia Public Schools; and data collected by and made available by District government offices that conduct outreach to communities with limited-English proficient populations and that serve as a liaison between the District government and limited-English proficient populations, such as the Office of Latino Affairs and the Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs; and

(F) Data collected and made available by the D.C. Language Access Coalition.

(2) A covered entity shall annually collect data about the languages spoken and the number or proportion of limited or no-English proficient persons speaking a given language in the population that is served or encountered, or likely to be served or encountered, by the covered entity. A covered entity’s databases and tracking applications shall contain fields that will capture this information during the fiscal year that this subchapter takes effect with respect to the covered entity pursuant to § 2-1936. If it is demonstrated to the Office of Human Rights that this is not feasible due to budgetary constraints, a covered entity shall make all due efforts to comply with this paragraph by the beginning of the next fiscal year. All information collected under this section shall be provided to the Language Access Director and made available to the public, upon request, within a reasonable time.

(d) To the extent that a covered entity requires additional personnel to meet its requirement to provide oral language services based on the determination set forth in this section, the covered entity shall hire bilingual personnel into existing budgeted vacant public contact positions.


(June 19, 2004, D.C. Law 15-167, § 3, 51 DCR 4688.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1934.


§ 2–1933. Written language services by covered entity.

(a) A covered entity shall provide translations of vital documents into any non-English language spoken by a limited or no-English proficient population that constitutes 3% or 500 individuals, whichever is less, of the population served or encountered, or likely to be served or encountered, by the covered entity in the District of Columbia.

(a-1) Not Funded.

(a-2) Not Funded.

(b) If the provisions of this subchapter are contractually imposed on a non-covered entity, subsection (a) of this section shall apply.

(c) Not Funded.


(June 19, 2004, D.C. Law 15-167, § 4, 51 DCR 4688; Apr. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 22-282, § 2(b), 66 DCR 1606.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 6-751.11, § 32-1331.12, § 42-3505.01, and § 50-1401.01.

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-282: § 5 of D.C. Law 22-282 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(b) of D.C. Law 22-282 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 2–1934. Additional obligations of covered entities with major public contact.

(a)(1) A covered entity with major public contact shall establish a language access plan, by regulation.

(2) Each language access plan shall be established in consultation with the Language Access Director, the D.C. Language Access Coalition, the entity’s language access coordinator, and agency directors that conduct outreach to limited or no-English populations. Each language access plan shall be updated every 2 years and shall set forth, at minimum, the following:

(A) The types of oral language services that the entity will provide and how the determination was reached;

(B) The titles of translated documents that the entity will provide and how the determination was reached;

(C) The number of public contact positions in the entity and the number of bilingual employees in public contact positions;

(D) An evaluation and assessment of the adequacy of the services to be provided; and

(E) A description of the funding and budgetary sources upon which the covered entity intends to rely to implement its language access plan.

(3) In establishing and updating the language access plan, the entity shall consult with the sources of data set forth in § 2-1932(c)(1).

(b) A covered entity with major public contact shall designate a language access coordinator who shall report directly to the director of the entity and shall:

(1) Establish and implement the entity’s language access plan in consultation with the Language Access Director, the D.C. Language Access Coalition, and the agency directors of government offices that conduct outreach to communities with limited or no-English proficient populations; and

(2) Conduct periodic public meetings with appropriate advance notice to the public.

(c) A covered entity with major public contact shall develop a plan to conduct outreach to communities with limited or no-English proficient populations about their language access plans and about the benefits and services to be offered under this subchapter.


(June 19, 2004, D.C. Law 15-167, § 5, 51 DCR 4688.)


§ 2–1934.01. Council of the District of Columbia language access requirements. [Not Funded]

Not Funded.


(June 19, 2004, D.C. Law 15-167, § 5a; as added Apr. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 22-282, § 2(c), 66 DCR 1606.)

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-282: § 5 of D.C. Law 22-282 provided that the creation of this section by § 2(c) of D.C. Law 22-282 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 2–1935. Language access oversight; duties of Language Access Director.

(a) The Office of Human Rights shall provide oversight, central coordination, and technical assistance to covered entities in their implementation of the provisions of this subchapter and ensure that the provision of services by covered entities meets acceptable standards of translation or interpretation.

(b) There shall be within the Office of Human Rights a Language Access Director to coordinate activities under this subchapter. The Language Access Director shall:

(1) Review and monitor each covered entity’s language access plan for compliance with this subchapter and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, approved July 2, 1964 (78 Stat. 252; 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d through 2000d-7);

(1A) Not Funded.

(1B) Not Funded.

(2) Track, monitor, and investigate public complaints regarding language access violations at covered entities, and where necessary, issue written findings of noncompliance to the covered entities regarding failures to provide language access; provided, that this responsibility shall not supersede or preclude the existing individual complaint process and mechanism under the jurisdiction of the Office of Human Rights;

(3) Review and monitor the language access coordinators with respect to their performance of responsibilities under this subchapter;

(4) Consult with language access coordinators, the D.C. Language Access Coalition, and the heads of government offices that conduct outreach to communities with limited or no-English proficient populations;

(5) Serve as the language access coordinator for the Office of Human Rights; and

(6) Through the Mayor, by regulation, after consultation with the D.C. Language Access Coalition, designate additional covered entities with major public contact.


(June 19, 2004, D.C. Law 15-167, § 6, 51 DCR 4688; Apr. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 22-282, § 2(d), 66 DCR 1606.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1931.

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-282: § 5 of D.C. Law 22-282 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(d) of D.C. Law 22-282 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Authority for Rulemaking under the Language Access Act, see Mayor’s Order 2007-127, May 31, 2007 ( 54 DCR 9065).


§ 2–1935.01. Language access for students. [Not Funded]

Not Funded.


(June 19, 2004, D.C. Law 15-167, § 6a; as added Apr. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 22-282, § 2(e), 66 DCR 1606.)

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-282: § 5 of D.C. Law 22-282 provided that the creation of this section by § 2(e) of D.C. Law 22-282 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 2–1935.02. Filing a complaint with the Office of Human Rights; appeals. [Not Funded]

Not Funded.


(June 19, 2004, D.C. Law 15-167, § 6b; as added Apr. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 22-282, § 2(e), 66 DCR 1606.)

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-282: § 5 of D.C. Law 22-282 provided that the creation of this section by § 2(e) of D.C. Law 22-282 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 2–1935.03. Remedies. [Not Funded]

Not Funded.


(June 19, 2004, D.C. Law 15-167, § 6c; as added Apr. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 22-282, § 2(e), 66 DCR 1606.)

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-282: § 5 of D.C. Law 22-282 provided that the creation of this section by § 2(e) of D.C. Law 22-282 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 2–1936. Phased implementation.

(a) This subchapter shall apply on June 19, 2004 to:

(1) Department of Health;

(2) Department of Human Services;

(3) Department of Employment Services;

(4) Metropolitan Police Department;

(5) District of Columbia Public School System;

(6) Office of Planning;

(7) Fire and Emergency Medical Services; and

(8) Office of Human Rights.

(b) This subchapter shall apply as of October 1, 2004 to:

(1) Department of Housing and Community Development;

(2) Department of Mental Health;

(3) Department of Motor Vehicles;

(4) Child and Family Services Agency;

(5) Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration; and

(6) Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

(c) This subchapter shall apply as of October 1, 2005, to:

(1) Department of Parks and Recreation;

(2) Department of Aging and Community Living;

(3) District of Columbia Public Library;

(4) Office of Personnel;

(5) Office of Contracting and Procurement;

(6) Department of Corrections;

(7) Department of Public Works; and

(8) Office of Tax and Revenue.

(d) This subchapter shall apply as of October 1, 2006 to all covered entities.


(June 19, 2004, D.C. Law 15-167, § 7, 51 DCR 4688; Mar. 29, 2019, D.C. Law 22-276, § 3(b)(2), 66 DCR 1721.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1932.


§ 2–1937. Inclusion in the budget and financial plan. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(June 19, 2004, D.C. Law 15-167, § 9, 51 DCR 4688; Aug. 16, 2008, D.C. Law 17-219, § 7047, 55 DCR 7598.)