As a first generation immigrant, and a parent of a child with disabilities, I have learned that the navigation of services comes with multiple cultural and linguistic barriers. It’s an unknown journey with so many pieces to pull together that families get overwhelmed.
Even when materials are translated into our own languages, the information and process is so complex and multi-layered that it’s much harder for us to access benefits. It’s easy for us to miss learning about substantial services that can help create a stable life for our family members with disabilities.
There is a great need for service systems and support organizations to reach out and connect with culturally and linguistically diverse families in ways that open doors for all families. We can’t ask for what we don’t know, which is why it’s so important for both families and professionals to connect and understand each other.
While there’s more work to be done to help bridge this gap in information and communication, the following resources are a starting place for families to get the help they need:
Parent to Parent Ethnic Outreach Coordinators and Resources
Ethnic Outreach Coordinators can direct you to community resources for your entire family, organized by county.
Office of Education Ombuds Publications and Resources in Multiple Languages
Requesting an Interpreter When Communicating with Schools, How Does a School District Work? Tips for Families to Help Address Bullying, and many more.
Open Doors for Multicultural Families
Culturally and linguistically relevant information, services, and programming to multicultural families of persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Primarily serving King County.
Patient Navigation Program at Seattle Children’s Hospital
Patient navigators can help families get care at Seattle Children’s if they have limited English proficiency.
Immigrants with Disabilities and Public Charge: Understanding Proposed Changes
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has proposed significant changes to the way the “public charge test” in federal law is applied to immigrants seeking to obtain legal status. Learn about the proposal and its impact on immigrants who use programs that help participants meet their basic needs, including:
- SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka “food stamps”), and
- Section 8 housing