To comply with federal law, the Department must advise applicants and clients (hereafter referred to as clients) of the right to professional interpreter services regardless of language, national origin or noncitizen status and must provide interpreter services to clients whose primary language is not English. Interpreter services must be provided to clients with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) at the first point of contact.
Clients with LEP must not be turned away or told to return with an interpreter. A client who presents either in person or by telephone with an adult intending to act as an interpreter must be advised that DTA will provide a professional interpreter free of charge. After being informed, the client may decline the use of professional interpreter services and choose to have the adult serve as an interpreter.
Important: Children over age 12 may interpret only to schedule an appointment. Children age 12 and under must not be asked to interpret for any purpose.
Purpose of Memo
This Operations Memo informs TAO and Central Office staff about Interpreter Services procedures.