viaLanguage Provides Language Access in Hawaii

viaLanguage has been recently selected to help three major healthcare providers to improve language assistance services for limited English proficient (LEP) persons in Hawaii.

Portland, OR, September 10, 2008 --( Improving Communication with Limited English Proficient Population

viaLanguage, a leading language translation and localization agency, today announced that Kapiolani Health, Hawaii State Hospital and the Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) have selected viaLanguage to help them improve language assistance services for limited English proficient (LEP) persons in Hawaii.

In 2006, Governor Linda Lingle signed Act 290, which requires the state and state-funded programs to develop plans for providing interpretation services and translated documents. On September 2, 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Hawaii Department of Human Services (DHS) announced they signed a voluntary agreement to improve language assistance services for limited English proficient persons in Hawaii. In a public statement, Governor Lingle said, “those who use state services are often the most vulnerable and require the most assistance in order to survive. Language should not be a barrier to basic needs such as housing, food, job training or medical coverage.”

“The State of Hawaii is doing something about language access for its population. The state now requires that all organizations receiving state funding must communicate in a variety of languages for their population,” said Chanin Ballance, CEO viaLanguage. “We have worked with other state agencies on similar requirements and are now offering our experience to facilitate compliance for all our Hawaiian clients.”

According to the 2000 U.S. Census survey, 26.6 percent of Hawaii’s population speaks a language other than English. Additionally, the 2000 Census reports that the majority of immigrants to Hawaii come from Asia and the Pacific Islands. Of those whose primary language at home is an Asian or Pacific Island language, 20.2 percent do not speak English well or at all. We are committed to ensuring that all people living in Hawaii have equal access to vital information and services,” said Kimo Alameda, Director of the Department of Health's Office of Multicultural Services. “We understand that Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIAs), as a group, share no common language. In fact, they may speak one of 100 languages and dialects and working with a partner, such as viaLanguage, to help us meet our goal is key.”

Working with Other States
Other government agencies have turned to viaLanguage for the translation of vital public information. Government agencies, such as the Oregon Office of Public Health Preparedness, Mississippi Department of Health and California Department of Social Services, are focusing on ways to improve communication within the LEP segment of the population. Through viaLanguage’s online language system, agencies are more effective at communicating important information such as, emergency public warnings and notices and other program information to the LEP community.

About viaLanguage
viaLanguage is a leading provider of online language translation and localization services. Through the unique combination of its Online Language System (OLS), expert linguists and integration capabilities, viaLanguage offers organizations a comprehensive, affordable solution for meeting today’s increasing need for effective multilingual communications. viaLanguage services are designed to help clients quickly and easily develop the very best multilingual Web sites, software applications, marketing materials and other global communications. Since 2000, the company has earned a reputation among its clients for reliability, quality and professionalism. Clients include: Blue Shield California, LA Care, Resurrection Healthcare, Bravo Health, Kaiser Permanent, BASF, Citibank and Nike; as well as many hospitals, school districts and state governments. Corporate Headquarters are located at 309 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 1200, Portland, OR 97204. For more information call us at 503-243-2007.

Press Contact:

Rachel Weikum
Weikum Communications

Timothy Kerrigan