Language Assistance Services
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. IDPH does not exclude people or treat them differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.
IDPH provides free language services assistance to people whose primary language is not English, to be used solely in conjunction with IDPH services. Available resources include qualified interpreters and information written in more than 100 languages. See the IDPH Language Access Plan for more information on what language services are available to the public.
IDPH also provides free aids and services to people with disabilities to communicate effectively with us, such as qualified sign language interpreters.
See the information below on how you can access these services.
IDPH has more than 20 staff members fluent in Spanish who can communicate directly with the Spanish-speaking public. Contact the IDPH Center for Minority Health Services at 217-782-4977 and ask to be routed to a bilingual staff person.
IDPH can facilitate oral interpretation by telephone or in person. For interpretation by telephone, IDPH can provide a three-way phone call. Contact the IDPH Center for Minority Health Services at 217-785-4311 and ask to be connected with an interpreter by phone.
For interpretation for in-person events hosted by IDPH, contact the IDPH Office of Communications in Springfield at 217-557-2556 or in Chicago at 312-814-4669. Requests for in-person oral interpretation should be made at least six weeks in advance of the event. Individuals whose primary language is not English may provide an interpreter of their own choosing at their own expense. The interpreter will be used as a supplement to the interpreter services provided by IDPH. You are advised to use discretion when choosing a minor to serve as your interpreter. There may be issues of competency, confidentiality, or conflict of interest when using minor children as interpreters.
IDPH can translate documents into languages other than English. For larger documents, such as reports, brochures, fact sheets, etc., contact the IDPH Center for Minority Health Services at 217-785-4311 and ask to have a document translated into the language of your choice. Requests for written translation take at least two weeks to complete. For more urgent written translations, contact the IDPH Office of Communications in Springfield at 217-557-2556 or in Chicago at 312-814-4669. You can find existing translated documents and forms and publications on the IDPH website.
If you have questions, concerns, or feedback with regard to interpreter sessions by phone, including the quality of the interpretation, contact the IDPH Office of Finance and Administration, Division of Accounting Services, at 217-782-5934, as well as the IDPH Center for Minority Health Services at 217-785-4311
Services for People with Disabilities
Sign Language Interpretation
IDPH can provide interpretation services in American Sign Language (ASL) for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Requests for ASL interpretation should be made at least four weeks prior to when the services are needed.
Text-Based Assistive Devices
IDPH can accept calls from individuals who use auxiliary aids and services for people with hearing impairments, including teletype (TTY) and telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD). Individuals using a TTY can reach IDPH at 800-547-0466. Illinois also has the Illinois Relay Center, a free service available 24 hours a day and seven days a week that allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech-disabled, or deaf-blind to place and receive calls to standard telephone users via a keyboard or assistive device.
If you have questions, concerns, or feedback with regard to ASL interpretation services, including the quality of the interpretation, contact the IDPH Office of Finance and Administration, Division of Accounting Services, at 217-782-5934, as well as the IDPH Center for Minority Health Services at 217-785-4311. Complaints about interpreter services can also be filed with the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission by email, mail, phone, or fax at:
Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission (IDHHC)
Attn: Interpreter Complaint Department
528 S. 5th St., Suite 209
Springfield, IL 62701
Complaints and Grievances
If you believe IDPH has failed to provide the services noted above, denied you the benefits of the IDPH Language Access Plan, or discriminated in another way on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex, a grievance can be filed with the IDPH equal employment officer at 312-814-1041. Grievances can be filed in person or by mail or email at:
Illinois Department of Public Health
EEO/AA Office and ADA Coordinator
Office of the Director
69 W. Washington St., Suite 3500
Chicago, IL 60602
A written complaint must be filed within six months of the alleged denial. If you need help filing a grievance, staff assistance is available through the IDPH Office of Finance and Administration (217-782-5934) or IDPH Center for Minority Health Services (217-785-4311).
Not satisfied with the findings or corrective action taken in response to your complaint? You may also file a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, electronically through the Office of Civil Rights Complaint Portal or by email, mail, or phone at:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Ave., SW
Room 509F, HHH Building
Washington, DC 20201