Who We Are
What is WASCLA?
WASCLA, or the Washington State Coalition for Language Access, is an organization consisting of legal professionals, advocates, law enforcement personnel, interpreters/translators, and court personnel who are dedicated to assisting state and local agencies within the State of Washington to understand and comply with their obligations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
How Was WASCLA Created?
The Department of Justice allocated funds to create a Northwest Regional Six-State Summit in May 2005. The summit brought together state participants from six states to discuss and develop plans to improve access and delivery of services to immigrant victims in their states.
Representatives of Washington State identified Limited English Proficiency (LEP) as a justice and social service system barrier that prevents immigrant survivors from accessing available resources. WA representatives identified an action plan to improve interpreter/translation services for immigrant survivors accessing legal services, medical care, and other community services.
Washington State has many organizations and institutions providing services to immigrant survivors in the areas of domestic violence, sexual assault, victims of other crimes such as trafficking, advocacy, immigration, public benefits, family law, and government services. All of these organizations have identified the lack of adequate interpretation and cultural awareness as a major barrier to immigrant survivors accessing help.
Participants from the original summit meeting were: (1) Leticia Camacho, Northwest Justice Project; (2) Neha Chandola, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project; (3) Martha Cohen, King County Superior Court Interpreter Services; (4) Gillian Dutton, Northwest Justice Project; (5) Sandra Gresl, Chaya; (6) Sunil Mansukhani, Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division (7) Denise Marti, Columbia Legal Services; (8) Carrie Mitchell, King County Sheriff's Office; (9) Atieno Odhiambo, Columbia Legal Services; (10) Jason Reed, Department of Social and Health Services; (11) Kathy Rice, KC Protection Order Advocacy Program, formerly Consejo; (12) Sudha Shetty, Seattle University Access to Justice Institute; (13) Harvey Sloan, Seattle Police Department; (14) Dorothy Stefan, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; (15)Tiffany Tull, Seattle University Access to Justice Institute