Grantmakers in Aging Session Focuses on Language Access

¿Habla Inglés? 

At the Language Access and Advocacy for Diverse Aging Populations session at the Grantmakers in Aging Annual Conference in McLean, VA, Directing Attorney Katharine Hsiao participated on the panel mentioned in Paul Nathanson’s column above.

Hsiao was instrumental in helping to organize the two-hour session which featured moving remarks from a Cambodian immigrant and an audience exercise related to what funders were doing  to ensure that diverse populations have equal access to services and benefits.

In her remarks, Hsiao mentioned some of NSCLC’s recent work on this important issue.

  • With support from Atlantic Philanthropies, NSCLC achieved a victory on a proposed Centers for Medicare and Medicaid rule that would have required Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans to offer materials in languages other than English only if the population served in a given area represented 10% of the population. NSCLC successfully urged the the coalitions it leads and hundreds of advocates to join in submitting comments and CMS subsequently changed the threshold to 5%.
  • With support from The California Endowment, NSCLC published “Improving Language Access to Keep California’s Older Adults at Home” earlier this year. Since 40% of California’s In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) recipients are limited English proficient, the report emphasized the crucial nature of taking action to improve linguistic access to those who are LEP.

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