CR: 3 Providing Oral/Written Program Information to Non-English or Limited English Speaking Persons

Effective Date: 05/04 Downloads: PDF Version    Revised Date: 10/13


To ensure that non-English speaking, limited-English speaking applicants or their parents/caretakers understand WIC Program services and are not discriminated against because they do not speak and/or read English. The State Agency shall ensure that all forms used for participant services are provided in the appropriate language considering the size and concentration of the population. The Local Agency shall ensure that required WIC information and services are then provided to such persons in the appropriate language orally and/or in writing.


Services shall include, but not be limited to:

  • At the time the appointment is made, if there is a request for or indication that interpreter services may be needed, the local agency staff shall inquire what services are needed and arrange for an interpreter to be present.
  • The local agency shall ensure that there are bilingual staff members or interpreters available to serve non-English speaking and/or limited-English speaking persons during clinic hours if they serve a significant population.
        1. Local agency staff, under no circumstances should ask or require another applicant or participant to interpret for the participant.
        2. Participants may choose to bring a friend or family member to interpret for them; however, under no circumstances shall a participant be required to do so.3.   If bilingual staff members or interpreters are not available, local agencies are instructed to utilize alternate means for interpretation, such as contracting with interpreting phone services.
        3. For example: “Language Line Services”
  • The local agency shall ensure that all applicable rights and obligations are read to non-English/non-Spanish speaking and limited-English/limited-Spanish speaking WIC participants or parents/caretakers of the applicants/participants in their appropriate language.
  • If local agencies have developed program materials, they are required to be written in Spanish when the local agency is serving a significant proportion of the population that is Spanish speaking.

If a local agency is serving a significant population that possess little or no ability to speak either English or Spanish, upon request, the State Agency shall attempt to assist the local agency in acquiring or developing materials for the population.