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Language Access Master Contracts

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Overview

The Department of Enterprise Services (DES) recognizes the importance of being able to communicate effectively with individuals, including those with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). DES leads state department's efforts, through procurement, to provide meaningful access for LEP individuals in its programs, activities, services, and operations.

A Limited English Proficient (LEP) person is one who does not speak English as their primary language, and has a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English. An individual who reports speaking English less than very well is considered to be limited English proficient.

RCW 39.26.300 requires the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) to create a procurement model that can be used by all eligible purchasers by directly contracting through scheduling and coordinating entities or interpreters or both. The Department of Enterprise Services is working to update the state master contracts for in-person, over the phone (OPI) and video remote (VRI) interpreter services, as directed by RCW 39.26.300. Public entities are mandated by state and federal laws to provide interpreter services, and the new state law made changes to how interpreter services are procured and administered.

Contracts

DES offers a wide suite of language access Master Contracts that eligible purchasers may find helpful each one unique to its needs. The planned procurement page identifies upcoming contracting opportunities. Vendors interested in being notified of Washington State bid opportunities must register with Washington's Electronic Business Solution (WEBS).

Written Translation Services:

01618 System Generated Client Letters, DSHS and HCA (Expires: 11-19-2024)

03116 Communication Access Real-time Transcription (CART) (Expires: 02-20-2023)

15422 Communication Access Transcription (CAT) *Pending Solicitation for Bidding

04218 Written Word (Expires: 07-31-2024)

American Sign Language (ASL):

03919 Interpreter Services with Independent Contractors (Expires: 03-31-2026)

02120 Interpreter Services with Referral Agencies (Expires: 05-31-2026)

Spoken Language Interpreter Services:

06821 Scheduling and Coordinating Software Solution – CBA (Expires: 02-29-2028)

03514 In-person, OPI & VRI - Court-certified (Expires: 06-30-2023)

02819 In-person, OPI & VRI – Non CBA (Expires: 03-03-2023)

09821 In-person, OPI & VRI (NASPO Follow-on) – Non CBA (Expires: 03-03-2023)

Spoken Language Interpreter Qualifications

Interpreters must be skilled to industry standards, expectations, and trends. Acceptable industry standards and expectations include the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Language Testing and Certification Program (LTC) or Authorization, guidelines outlined by the American Translation Association (ATA) for Interpreters, the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters, or the National Board for Certification of Medical Interpreters. Interpreters trained through accredited higher education institution (university or college) programs, which are widely accepted by industry experts, the interpreter community, and by Washington State Purchasers are also acceptable.

DES Language Access Purchaser Meetings

DES offers a wide array of language access master contracts to meet purchasers' needs in communicating with people in Washington state with limited English proficiency. As an additional resource, we are inviting you to monthly meetings to answer your questions, connect with other purchasers and get to know your needs around these contracts.

 

When: Meetings will be held the last Wednesday of every month, unless otherwise shown on the DES Language Access Purchaser Meeting Calendar.

Where: Virtual meeting

Who: All eligible purchasers who use statewide master contracts, which are available to the following organizations:

  • Washington state agencies
  • Washington state institutions of higher education (colleges)
  • MCUA parties

How to register: If you are interested in joining DES' language access purchaser meetings, please contact Antoinette Wynne (she/her), Language Access Analyst, at Antoinette.Wynne@des.wa.gov to receive an invite to the meeting.

 

More Information

If you have any questions, please contact our Language Access Analyst Antoinette Wynne at (360 490-8570 or via email Antoinette.Wynne@des.wa.gov.