Language Access Plan

Policy Approve By
Scott McCallum, Superintendent
Policy Date (original policy date)
Policy Prepared By
Sean McCormick, Director of On-Campus Programs
Policy Category
Students

Language Access Plan

Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB) is committed to improving meaningful, two-way communication and promoting access to educational programs, services and activities for students and parents with limited English proficiency (LEP) free of charge. WSSB will implement and maintain a language access plan tailored to the school’s current LEP parent population.

At a minimum, the WSSB’s language access plan will incorporate the procedures that accompany this policy and address:

Parent Identification

WSSB will accurately and in a timely manner identify LEP parents and provide them information in a language they can understand regarding the language service resources available within WSSB.

Oral Interpretation

WSSB will take reasonable steps to provide LEP parents competent oral interpretation of materials or information about any program, service, and activity provided to non-LEP parents and to facilitate any interaction with WSSB staff significant to the student’s education. WSSB will provide such services upon request of the LEP parent(s) and/or when it may be reasonably anticipated by WSSB staff that such services will be necessary. 

Written Translation 

WSSB will provide a written translation of vital documents for each limited English proficient group that constitutes at least 5 percent of the WSSB’s total parent population. For purposes of this policy, “vital documents” include, but are not limited to, those related to:

  • registration, application, and selection;
  • academic standards and student performance;
  • safety, discipline, and conduct expectations;
  • special education and related services, Section 504 information, and McKinney-Vento services;
  • policies and procedures related to school attendance;
  • requests for parent permission in activities or programs;
  • opportunities for students or families to access school activities, programs, and services;
  • student/parent handbook;
  • the WSSB’s Language Access Plan and related services or resources available;
  • school closure information; and
  • any other documents notifying parents of their rights under applicable state laws and/or containing information or forms related to consent or filing complaints under federal law, state law, or WSSB policy. 

If the WSSB is unable to translate a vital document due to resource limitations or if a small number of families require the information in a language other than English such that document translation is unreasonable, the WSSB will still provide the information to parents in a language they can understand through competent oral interpretation.

Staff Guidance

All school administrators, particularly those who have the most interaction with the public such as registrars and enrollment staff, certificated staff and other appropriate staff as determined by the superintendent, will receive guidance on meaningful communication with LEP parents, best practices for working with an interpreter, how to access an interpreter or translation services in a timely manner, language services available within the WSSB and other information deemed necessary by the superintendent to effectuate the language access plan.

Appropriate WSSB staff, as determined by the superintendent, will also receive guidance on the interaction between this policy and the WSSB’s policy on effective communication with students, families, and community members with disabilities.   

The superintendent is authorized to establish procedures and practices for implementing this policy.

WSSDA Policy Cross references:

3210   Nondiscrimination

4129   Family Involvement

4217   Effective Communication

Legal references:

Chapter 28A.642 RCW Discrimination prohibition

Chapter 49.60 RCW Discrimination – Human Rights Commission     

Chapter 392-400 WAC Discipline

WAC 392-400-215 Student rights

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Management resources:

2016 – July Issue

OSPI website:  Interpretation and Translation Services