Adams School of Dentistry: Language Access Standard

I. Introduction

A. Purpose

The purpose of this Standard is to outline how the UNC Adams School of Dentistry will ensure meaningful access to its health services for individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and individuals with disabilities.

B. Scope

This Standard applies to all Adams School of Dentistry interactions with patients or prospective patients. This Standard does not regulate accommodations for students, employees, affiliates, or any other visitors (for more details, visit the UNC Equal Opportunity and Compliance (EOC) website).

II. Definitions

  1. Disability: a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of an individual, a record of such impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment.
  2. Individual with Limited English Proficiency (LEP): an individual whose primary language for communication is not English and who has a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English.
  3. Qualified bilingual/multilingual staff: a Adams School of Dentistry student or employee that:
    1. is proficient in speaking and understanding both spoken English and at least one other spoken language, including any necessary specialized vocabulary, terminology and phraseology; and
    2. is able to effectively, accurately, and impartially communicate directly with individuals with LEP in their primary languages.
  4. Qualified translator: a translator who:
    1. adheres to generally accepted translator ethics principles, including client confidentiality;
    2. has demonstrated proficiency in writing and understanding both written English and at least one other written non-English language; and
    3. is able to translate effectively, accurately, and impartially to and from such language(s) and English, using any necessary specialized vocabulary, terminology, and phraseology.

III. Standard

A. General Requirements

  1. The School shall provide auxiliary aids and services to any individual requiring communication assistance in order to ensure equal access to our health services.
    1. For individuals with LEP, free aids and services shall include qualified oral interpretation, qualified translations of written information, and appropriate assistance from qualified staff
    2. For individuals with disabilities, free aids and services shall include qualified sign language interpretation, alternative formats of written information, and appropriate assistance from qualified staff;
  2. Auxiliary aids and services, including interpreter services, must be provided to the individual free of charge, be accurate and timely, and protect the privacy and independence of the individual.
  3. The School shall not:
    1. require an individual to provide his or her own interpreter
    2. rely on an adult accompanying the individual to interpret or facilitate communication, except:
      1. where the individual specifically requests that the accompanying adult do so, the accompanying adult agrees to provide such assistance, and reliance on the accompanying adult is appropriate under the circumstances; or
      2. in an emergency situation where there is no qualified interpreter immediately available
    3. rely on a minor child to interpret or facilitate communication, except in an emergency situation where there is no qualified interpreter immediately available.

B. Individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP)

  1. Only qualified bilingual/multlingual staff may facilitate communication with individuals with LEP. If a qualified bilingual/multlingual staff member is not immediately available, then the School shall offer a qualified third party interpreter to adequately communicate with the individual.
    1. The School does not consider Google Translate, Babelfish, or other unapproved web applications to meet this standard.
    2. To the extent that video remote interpreting service is offered, it must meet the quality assurance requirements found at 45 CFR § 92.201(f).
  2. Individuals with LEP are not required to accept the School's language assistance services and may choose to rely upon an accompanying adult in accordance with Section III-A(3) of this Standard.
    1. The School should document this refusal using the attached form.
    2. The School may prevent any individual from participating in the interpretation activities if there is reason to believe that the interpretation being provided is inaccurate, incomplete, or creates an inappropriate interaction that may result in an adverse situation for the patient and/or School personnel.
  3. The School will only use qualified translators when translating written content into paper or electronic form.
  4. To communicate with an individual with LEP whose primary language is Spanish, contact the School's Spanish Interpreter (see "Contact Information" below). For other languages, contact the School's over-the-phone interpreter service at (833) 339-0707. For more details, see the attached infographic.

C. Individuals with Disabilities

  1. The School shall take appropriate steps to ensure that communications with individuals with disabilities are as effective as communications with others in the delivery of its health services. The School shall provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services, free of charge, to individuals with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills, where necessary to afford such individuals an equal opportunity to benefit from the School's services.
    1. The type of auxiliary aid or service necessary to ensure effective communication will vary in accordance with the method of communication used by the individual, the nature, length, and complexity of the communication involved, and the context in which the communication is taking place.
    2. In determining what types of auxiliary aids and services are necessary, the School shall give primary consideration to the requests of the individual.
    3. To the extent that video remote interpreting service is offered, it must meet the quality assurance requirements found at 28 CFR § 35.160(d).
  2. To communicate with an individual with a disability using the American Sign Language (ASL) video remote interpreter, notify the School's Spanish Interpreter (see "Contact Information" below) and follow the instructions in the attached infographic. Clinic codes may be obtained from the Spanish Interpreter.

IV. Related Requirements

A. External Regulations and Consequences

  1. 45 CFR § 92.201
  2. 45 CFR § 92.202
  3. 45 CFR § 92.204
  4. 28 CFR § 35.160 through § 35.164

B. Unit Policies, Standards, and Procedures

  1. Adams School of Dentistry: Policy on Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities
  2. Adams School of Dentistry: Procedure for Resolving Patient Grievances

Contact Information

Contact Information
Topic Title Contact
Obtaining Interpreter Service (Spanish or ASL) Spanish Interpreter
Obtaining Interpreter Service (other languages) n/a - Third Party Interpreter (919) 239-1641
Other questions about this Standard

Associate Dean of Strategy and Compliance


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Article ID: 131275
Thu 4/8/21 9:05 PM
Tue 11/7/23 10:10 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Adams School of Dentistry
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Director of Clinical Compliance
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
05/09/2025 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
05/09/2023 1:33 PM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
03/02/2022 12:34 PM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
03/02/2022 12:34 PM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
03/26/2019 12:00 AM

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The UNC Adams School of Dentistry maintains an internal procedure providing for the prompt and equitable resolution of patient-initiated complaints and grievances relating to patient care, including any civil rights grievances arising under applicable Federal law.