Communication Access & Language Assistance
Communication Access means providing assistance to all who need it, including individuals who are Deaf or have hearing loss, are blind or have low vision, or people who have limited English proficiency (LEP).
The DHHS Commitment
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services is committed to providing meaningful communication assistance to New Hampshire's diverse populations.
The Department must ensure its own compliance with the federal civil rights laws that require communication assistance, including:
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
- Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Additionally, State laws (RSA 521-A and RSA 354-A) require an interpreter be provided, when necessary, to ensure effective communication for individuals who are deaf or have hearing loss.
DHHS has systems and processes in place to assure communication access for all persons who do business with the Department who need language and communication assistance including current and potential customers/clients, employees, and the public. Service modalities include in-person interpretation, over the phone interpretation, and video remote interpretation as well as translation of vital documents and significant materials.
The Office of Health Equity (OHE) has direct responsibility for DHHS Communication Access policy, systems, and training, including oversight of the contracted vendor(s) for interpretation/translation services. Two full-time staff (a Communication Access Coordinator, and the Hearing, Speech and Vision Specialist) are dedicated to supporting the Department’s system capacity for communication access.
Please complete the Communication Access Concern Form if you have feedback about the communication access dimension of any interaction with a DHHS employee or contractor. We want to hear from you because we want to do better; all feedback is welcome! DHHS strives to improve our systems and processes for communication access and we greatly appreciate hearing from people when they have concerns.