Guest blog post: What is CLAS? by Claudia Brauer 1

I’m happy to announce a second guest blog post from Claudia Brauer, this time regarding Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS).   You can see Claudia’s previous guest post here.
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What is CLAS? by Claudia Brauer

CLAS is the acronym for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services. The term was originally born from the Office of Minority Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In the United States, CLAS Standards for healthcare fall within varying levels of stringency, including federal mandates, general guidelines, and recommendations in three frameworks: Culturally Competent Care, Language Access Services, and Organizational Supports for Cultural Competency.

Although initially CLAS referred to the healthcare industry in America, the concept has acquired a much wider application and has been adopted, adapted and localized by other countries and by many government agencies throughout the world. Additionally, similar standards have been adopted by others in the public and private sectors, including the legal environment, the educational establishment, financial services and the business world in general.

Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services, CLAS, encompasses a group of policies, behaviors and attitudes that allow professionals, companies, and government agencies to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. CLAS also refers to services that are respectful of the beliefs and practices of diverse populations and are responsive to the cultural and linguistic needs of those individuals, requiring workforce and providers to acquire or enhance their ability to understand and respond effectively to multicultural clients and patients.

One of the most interesting definitions of Culture and Competence states that: “Culture refers to integrated patterns of human behavior that include the language, thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions of racial, ethnic, religious, or social groups. Competence implies having the capacity to function effectively as an individual and an organization within the context of the cultural beliefs, behaviors, and needs presented by consumers and their communities.”*

(*)[The Office of Minority Health, U.S. DHHS, “What Is Cultural Competency”. Definition “based on Cross, T., Bazron, B., Dennis K., & Isaacs, M., (1989). Towards A Culturally Competent System of Care Volume I. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Child Development Center, CASSP Technical Assistance Center” http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/templates/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlID=11.]

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In an association between ProZ.com and Claudia Brauer, starting August 16 a new Bundle of 5 sessions on CLAS concepts will be provided. These CLAS Online Workshops are intended for working and aspiring translators, interpreters, and linguists working in the Global Village of the 21st Century.

  • August 16: Cross-cultural communication
  • August 23: “CLAS” healthcare standards
  • August 30: “CLAS” – privacy and confidentiality
  • September 6: The Hispanic market
  • September 22: “The Tribal Mentality (in the Global Village of the 21st Century)

Interested individuals may register at: http://www.proz.com/translator-training/topic/Interpreting

One comment

  1. Pingback: Cultural Competence in Health Communications « PDResources

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