Learn about your right to an interpreter

Federally affiliated agencies cannot discriminate against national origin as it affects people with Limited English Proficiency (LEP).

You have the right to access and understand important federal and federally assisted programs. 

Any program that receives federal financial assistance has an obligation to reduce language barriers. These barriers can prevent meaningful access by LEP persons to important government services.

Know your rights: Are you Limited English Proficient (LEP)?

If you do not speak English as your first language and have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English, you may be considered Limited English Proficient, or LEP.

For more information, refer to commonly asked questions and answers regarding Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals or the LEP beneficiary brochure below.

Additional Resources

Information about program compliance for LEP persons

​​​​​​Federal and federally assisted programs should deliver services to all persons regardless of race, color, or national origin. Programs need to ensure that all LEP persons have access to services. The LEP recipient brochure below outlines regulations for providing people meaningful access to services and information.

Additional Resources

"You Have the Right to an Interpreter" Campaign

This public awareness campaign promotes medical interpreter use among Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals seeking emergency medical care. The centerpiece of the campaign is a public service announcement relating the story of a patient who does not seek emergency care for her injury, due to an inability to speak English. This common scenario was chosen as an informational tool informing the public of the legal requirements of Massachusetts hospital emergency departments in the provision of medical interpreter services to individuals requiring language access services.

Listen to the audio files (right click to download and save):

Read English transcript (DOC)

About the recording

The music for this recording was composed by Gabriel Medina, graduate of Berklee College of Music. The voices are a collection of multilingual DPH employees, community members, and professional voice talents.

Contact for Learn about your right to an interpreter


250 Washington St., 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02108

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