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GROUPS TO RELEASE REPORT ON DISCRIMINATION AGAINST SPANISH-SPEAKING LATINOS AT D.C. DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES

Study Shows Disparate Treatment for Spanish-speaking Latinos at D.C. DHS Facilities
Washington, DC - At a news briefing on Monday, January 31, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), joined by representatives from the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs (WLC), the Equal Rights Center (ERC), and La Clínica del Pueblo, will release a study showing that Washington, DC's Department of Human Services (DHS) has failed to comply with federal and local laws obligating the city to provide interpretation and translation services to its large Spanish-speaking population. The briefing will be held at La Clínica del Pueblo, an independent bilingual, bicultural community medical clinic located at 2831 15th Street, NW, beginning at 11:30 a.m.
The report, commissioned by NCLR and conducted by the Equal Rights Center (ERC), documents the first ever use of paired testers to evaluate health care access. Speakers will discuss the concerns that led to the commissioning of the study of DHS's language services, explain how the testing was conducted, and report on its key findings, which conclude that Spanish-speaking Latinos are experiencing serious hurdles to accessing Medicaid benefits in the District. In addition, speakers will show the impact that these discriminatory practices at DHS have on the local Latino community and address the possible legal and regulatory remedies available to the local Hispanic population.
Participating in the briefing are: Elizabeth Almendras, a Spanish-speaking tester who participated in the study; Denise Gilman, Director of the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project of WLC; Rabbi Bruce E. Kahn, Executive Director of ERC; Dr. Juan Romagoza, Executive Director of La Clínica del Pueblo; and Marcela Urrutia, NCLR Senior Health Policy Analyst.

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