The COVID-19 pandemic has taken many lives, and families have suffered as a result. According to statistics in the U.S., COVID-19 is more heavily affecting racial and ethnic minorities. Especially those who are not fluent in English. In the article Language Access for Limited English Proficiency (LEP), Alison Toon explains how people with limited English proficiency are missing out on important, and even vital information.

The lack of language access has resulted in lower-quality care for non-English speaking patients. Even when hospitals already offer on-call interpreters. The reason is that the demand for language services in the healthcare sector has significantly increased during the pandemic. In order to help with communication, organizations such as CDC and Translators Without Borders have provided information about COVID-19 in different languages. However, people with limited English proficiency (LEP) also encounter difficulties in other aspects of life. Language barriers limit their access to information and aid programs. It furthers the severity of the pandemic to this group of people in the community.


In the future, academic studies will certainly explain how pandemic has affected different groups of the community. It will also suggest more effective ways to cope with similar situations that might happen. While it takes a long time to improve existing major social challenges. It seems that needed improvements in language access can be made immediately. In many countries, individuals have the lawful right to be provided with information in a language that they can understand. By law, any federal-funded organization in the U.S. must support LEP communities. But they often do not update the language management techniques, technologies, or processes.

Organizations should start their post-pandemic planning by reviewing their LEP compliance. Moreover, the practices to better serve people with limited language proficiency. So, taking steps to improve their translation management is important. If an organization or company has experienced any difference in health outcomes between LEP and English-fluent patients. Then, the attributions to LEP communities with issues and information related to COVID-19, reported communicating issues between staff and clients, or lower benefits for other-language speakers, they need to fully examine their LEP and access processes and provide more solutions to help everyone communicate more effectively.

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Source Author: Alison Toon

Source article:

Date: June 17, 2020

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