Language Rights

Language Rights

NYLPI monitors hospitals, clinics and other medical providers’ compliance with laws that require equal access to services to all persons, including people who are limited Engish proficient (LEP). Attorneys and organizers in the Health Justice Program are willing to conduct negotiations, file complaints and/or litigate on behalf of LEP individuals and community-based organizations representing language minority communities to ensure that no one is denied equal access to health care on the basis of language. Over the years, NYLPI has developed a successful track record of advocacy on behalf of New York’s immigrant and linguistic minority communities.

For almost a decade, NYLPI has partnered with community groups such as Make the Road New York and the New York Immigration Coalition and successfully advocated for improved language assistance services at hospitals throughout New York City, including Brooklyn Hospital, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center, and the hospitals in the Continuum Health Partners network. NYLPI is also co-coordinating a statewide legislative campaign to procure Medicaid reimbursement for language assistance services in New York State hospitals.

Moving beyond language rights in hospitals, NYLPI is currently representing Make the Road New York in a campaign to obtain language assistance services in New York City pharmacies. As part of this campaign—the first of its kind in the country—NYLPI filed a civil rights complaint with the New York State Office of the Attorney General and worked with Make the Road and the New York City Public Advocate’s Office to introduce local legislation to strengthen and clarify pharmacies’ obligations to their LEP customers.

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