Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards are guidelines to ensure that we are responding to diverse languages, health beliefs, cultural practices, and health literacy levels. The standards help us provide the people we serve with effective, equitable, and high-quality care. more
The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) provides training, resources, and support to RIDOH staff and Rhode Islanders to help them fulfill the CLAS Standards.
Learn more about the history of CLAS Standards.
I Speak Cards can be shared with community members who have limited English proficiency. They are designed to help communicate the need for an interpreter. One side of each card is in English and the other is in the user's primary language. Downloadable versions of these cards are available below.
This chart can be used to help identify the primary language of a community member. Show them the sheet to help them find their language and point to it.
To request a training at your organization, please email Michelle.Wilson@health.ri.gov with the subject heading “Request for CLAS Training”. Include your organization name, contact name, and phone number.
RIDOH is committed to helping improve the implementation of CLAS Standards in Rhode Island. We welcome confidential feedback about areas of improvement regarding CLAS Standards at RIDOH or other community facilities. Some examples of complaints include the need for better access to translation or interpretation services, or incidences of cultural insensitivity. You can give confidential feedback on our Contact Us web page or by calling the RIDOH Health Information Line at 401-222-5960 / RI Relay 711.
Under Rhode Island General Law § 23-17-54, all hospitals and emergency care facilities:
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects people from discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. more Failure to provide limited English proficiency (LEP) individuals with meaningful access to programs and services may constitute discrimination based on national origin under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. more
Executive Order 13166 requires recipients of federal financial assistance to take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access for LEP persons to the services and care provided by their agency or organization. (more)
Such agencies include: