Limited English Proficient (LEP) residents in Genesee County and Flint are facing significant challenges when attempting to access essential services and resources due to language barriers. Unfortunately, some residents are being forced to reschedule appointments at healthcare facilities due to the lack of interpreters, while others are being denied care altogether unless they bring their own interpreter. This not only lacks compassion, but it also violates people’s civil rights.
Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, recipients of federal financial assistance must be guaranteed that their programs, services, and activities are accessible to eligible individuals with limited English proficiency. Moreover, Michigan law prohibits discrimination based on various factors, including race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, genetic information, marital status, familial status, height, weight, and arrest record.
If you believe that you have been a victim of discrimination based on any of these factors, you can contact the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) to file a complaint.
The MDCR can be reached at (800) 482-3604 or MCDR-INFO@michigan.gov.
As a community, it is our responsibility to address language barriers and ensure that our LEP residents have meaningful access to benefits, information, and services. We must strive to create a more inclusive environment where all members of our community feel valued and supported. By working together, we can break down language barriers and promote equity and fairness for all.