Rhode Island to improve interpreter services after ACLU complaint (U.S.)

The state of Rhode Island has agreed to improve language services, after a 2007 complaint from the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union that was prompted when the state laid off several interpreters.

The state announced Tuesday that the Rhode Island Department of Human Services has signed an agreement with the federal government to improve the assistance given to people who speak little or no English.

The state in 2007 laid off all its southeast Asian language interpreters as well as one of two Portuguese interpreters. That prompted a complaint from the ACLU that the state was violating a 1997 agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that the state provide timely interpreter services.

The governor’s office did not immediately provide details of the agreement.