The guidance makes reference to "vital documents" and notes that, in certain circumstances, a recipient/covered entity may translate such documents into other languages to help ensure compliance with Title VI. What is a vital document?

"Vital documents" are generally documents that affect access to, retention in, or termination or exclusion from a recipient’s program services or benefits. Vital documents include, but are not limited to: applications; consent forms; complaint forms; intake forms with potential for important health consequences, letters or notices pertaining to eligibility for benefits; letters or notices pertaining to rights and the reduction, denial or termination of services or benefits or that require a response from the LEP person; actions affecting parental custody or child support, written tests that test competency for a particular license, job, or skill for which knowing English is not required; documents that must be provided by law; and notices regarding the availability of free language assistance services for LEP individuals.

Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Content last reviewed on November 19, 2015