Eligibility for Language Services

You may request the following services from your local Community Services Office (CSO) and doctor's office:

Interpretation
If you are a Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) client or applicant and have limitations in speaking or understanding English, the DSHS local office will provide an interpreter at no cost to you and without significant delay.

DSHS interpreters can speak, read and write English and your language. Interpreters will keep all information confidential. Some offices also have DSHS employees who directly conduct DSHS business as needed in languages other than English.

Translation
If you are a Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) client or applicant and have limitations in reading or understanding English, DSHS will provide translation of all major written DSHS communications at no cost to you. DSHS can also translate individual communications that are necessary to assist you in completion of your business with DSHS.

Sign Language Interpretation
If you are a Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) client or applicant and are deaf, deaf-blind, or hard-of-hearing, DSHS provides sign language interpretation at no cost to you and without significant delay through theĀ Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Definitions
Interpreter: A person who orally transfers a message from one spoken language to another.

Certified/Authorized interpreter: A person who has passed the required DSHS language interpreter examination, or has passed the language interpreter examination offered by the State of Washington Administrator for the Courts or the Federal Court.

Translator: A person who transfers a message in writing from one language to another.

Certified Translator: A person who has passed the required DSHS written translation examination, or has passed the American Translators Association written translation examination.