The Offer to Interpret, also known as, Translated Written Notice to Receive Free Oral Interpretation of Documents, is one of the most powerful and helpful tools available to providers of federally-assisted housing and other programs. The Offer to Interpret is available in multiple languages and is a simple statement that can accompany untranslated documents. It says:

This is an important document.

Do you need an interpreter?

We can provide free interpreter services to help you understand this document. Please tell us if you need an interpreter.

A provider would use the Offer to Interpret to accompany vital documents to demonstrate that it is operating within safe harbor parameters of the federal agency LEP Guidance. The Language Needs Assessment would help a provider determine the threshold limits for its use in the different languages.

Because the Offer to Interpret is available at no cost here in so many languages, it would be a best management practice to use it regardless of whether it is required or not. It can also be a good interim, but temporary step prior to translating a document. More importantly, the Offer to Interpret is a good customer relations tool that can help bridge the communication gap between a provider and a person that is LEP. It can and should be used whether or not it is required.

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