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Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VI was enacted as part of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

This includes discriminations based on an individual’s ability to speak and/or understand English.

Nondiscrimination laws in public health and human services are forced by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) prohibit discrimination and require covered entities to provide individuals an equal opportunity to participate in a program activity, regardless of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or (under certain conditions) religion or sex.

Some of the institutions or programs that may receive Federal assistance and be covered by Title VI are:
• Hospitals and health clinics
• Medicaid and Medicare agencies
• Alcohol and drug treatment centers
• Extended care facilities
• Public assistance programs
• Nursing homes
• Adoption agencies
• Day care, mental health and senior citizen centers

Organizations are required to take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to their programs and activities by LEP persons.
The Guidance explains that the obligation to provide meaningful access is fact-dependent and starts with an individualized assessment that balances four factors:

  • Number or Proportion of LEP Individuals
  • Frequency of Contact With the Program
  • Nature and Importance of the Program
  • Resources Available

DBHDS Title VI Provider Guidance

These videos explain the rights of limited English proficient (LEP) individuals under Title VI of the Civil Right Act of 1964 and its implementing regulations; and the requirements of federal agencies under Executive Order 13166 to provide language access to their programs and activities.

Breaking Down the Language Barrier


Joint Commission Videos on Language Laws Part 1

Joint Commission Videos on Language Laws Part 2

Joint Commission Video on Language Laws Part 3

Joint Commission Video on Language Laws Part 4