340:1-11-10. Interpreter Services Program
(a) The purpose of this Section is to establish a uniform system for processing requests for interpreter services for clients, employees, applicants for services or employment, or children in Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) custody.DHS provides at no charge, interpreter services for DHS clients, applicants, and employees with limited English proficiency (LEP), or who are deaf or hard of hearing to overcome language barriers and provide equal access and equal opportunity to participate in DHS services and employment.
(b) This Section is applicable to all DHS programs and offices. • 1
(c) Arrangements for interpreters are made per (1) and (2).
(1) LEP or bilingual interpreters.Each local county office or facility maintains a list of employees and community members who are available to provide translation services.The list designates the translator's name, phone number, and the language spoken.Employees use contracted language translation providers when a local, suitable translator is not available.Friends or family members of clients, especially children, are not used for translating information related to eligibility for services, except in emergency situations. In areas where the client population served by a program is five percent or more non-English speaking, a formalized procedure for bilingual services and literature in the respective language must be provided by DHS.
(2) Deaf or hard of hearing interpreters.DHS provides, at no cost, oral or sign language interpreter services to anyone who is deaf and needs an oral or sign language interpreter to receive or continue to receive DHS services, or retain or maintain DHS employment.DHS uses contracted vendors to provide qualified interpreter services statewide for all deaf persons requesting American Sign Language, Manually Coded English, or oral interpretation, except when services are specifically authorized through the Interpreter Services Program of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.Clients or employees may contact local DHS offices to request services.DHS Pub. No. 05-02, Sign Language Services, posters are placed prominently in DHS offices and facilities.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:1-11-10
1. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services ensures the applicant, client, or employee understands a:
(1) qualified interpreter is provided at no charge; and
(2) family member or relative may not be qualified to serve as an interpreter due to the:
(A) lack of familiarity with specific technical terms; or
(B) possibility of breach of confidentiality or reluctance to reveal critical personal information to family members or friends.