To ensure that Northside is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the American with Disabilities Act as determined by the Office of Civil Rights, the following Plan is in effect:
Northside’s Single Point of Contact or backup if needed, a requirement of DCF, ensures that communication supports are made available to deaf or hard-of-hearing clients or companions or client or companions with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) at no cost to clients. Northside employees shall be made aware of the contractual requirements and ADA compliance obligations when serving deaf or hard-of-hearing clients and those with LEP.
Northside ensures that our clients are given primary consideration as to which auxiliary aid or service they prefer at no cost to client. A copy of auxiliary aids and services is attached.
Staff will be instructed on the importance of requesting an auxiliary aid or service for clients or companions who are deaf or hard of hearing in a timely manner. If it is a scheduled appointment, you must have a certified interpreter at the time of the appointment. If the interpreter fails to appear, staff must take whatever action necessary to ensure a certified interpreter is available no later than two hours after the scheduled appointment or as convenient to the client or companion. If it is a non-scheduled appointment, you must provide a certified interpreter within two hours of the request or at least by the next business day.
If an auxiliary aid or service proves to be ineffective, staff shall re-assess which appropriate auxiliary aids and services are necessary for effective communication by consulting with the individual seeking the auxiliary aids or services. Northside ensures that the necessary auxiliary aids to persons with disabilities such as deaf or hard-of-hearing or those with limited English proficiency will be available at meetings, conferences, and seminars.
In communicating with a client, if the staff member determines that the client does not need an auxiliary aid or service as requested by the client or companion, the staff shall advise the client or companion of the denial of the requested service and shall document the date and time of the denial, the name and title of the staff member who made the determination and the reason for the decision. Staff shall provide the individual with a copy of the denial.
Notices providing information about the availability of auxiliary aids and services are posted at each clinical site where clients receive services.
Within 60 days of hire, new staff will be trained on how to provide auxiliary aids and services to persons with disabilities and limited English proficiency and annually thereafter during the Annual Risk Management training.
If a client, companion or staff member requests a copy of the Plan in an alternative format, i.e. Spanish, a copy will be provided. Copies are also available on FYI for staff.
Plan provides that completed documentation for clients receiving the necessary auxiliary aids or services are maintained in the clinical records and retained for ten years for adults and ten years beyond the age of 18 for children as required by statute and agency policy.
Each program at Northside has a designated representative to ensure 24/7 coverage for clients needing a sign language interpreter or other auxiliary aid or service. The representatives are also available for staff who may not be familiar with a particular auxiliary aid or service.
All American Sign Language interpreters are certified and all services provided to clients/companions are appropriately qualified to provide services. Verification is retained for each consultant service.
Northside’s designated Single Point of Contact shall submit compliance reports no later than the 15th of each month to Central Florida Behavioral Network.
The contact information for the following Florida Relay Service, Video Remote Interpreting, Video Relay Interpreting and Assistive Listening Devices and the CART Services may be accessed through the Agency’s Single Point of Contact or back up.
Northside has access to TDD/TTY at all access to care sites.
Northside shall establish a mechanism to solicit customer feedback from clients and/or companions that are deaf or hard-of-hearing. If clients or companions are referred to other agencies,
Northside will notify the receiving agency of the client’s or companion’s preferred method of communication and any auxiliary aids/service needs.