Title VI Policy – English
TITLE VI POLICY
The purpose of this policy is to establish that Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition (OCTN) complies with all pertinent provisions of Title VI regulations. A notice of this policy is placed on all schedules, brochures and complaint forms.
Policy: OCTN provides services to all persons, without discrimination because of sex, marital status, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age or disability.
Qualified applicants receive consideration for employment without discrimination because of sex, marital status, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age or disability. All applications for employment include this statement at the top of the application. All employment ads include the statement that OCTN is an EOE (Equal Opportunity Employer).
All OCTN services, whether transportation or nutrition, are provided to every participant in the same quality and manner. Services are offered to all without regard to sex, marital status, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age or disability. Services are offered at the same frequency and no individual is segregated or offered services at a different level of quality.
OCTN will accept complaints either in writing or verbally. If in writing, the complaint may be submitted either by letter, fax, phone or e-mail. The following information will be obtained if possible: Vehicle number, employee name, a description of the incident including date, time, location and witnesses (if any). The name and contact information of the complainant will be obtained for follow-up. All complaints must be filed within 180 days of the incident.
The Director of Operations (DO) will review, investigate and make a determination regarding the incident. The D.O. will respond back to the person making the complaint within 10 working days if contact information is available. If no contact information was given, the complaint along with the determination will be filed and appropriate action taken.
If the person making the complaint is not satisfied with OCTN’s response, they may file a complaint or lawsuit with one of the following organizations:
Washington State Department of Transportation
Public Transportation Division
Attn: Title VI Coordinator
P.O. Box 47387
Olympia, WA 98504
Federal Transit Administration
Attn: Title VI Program Coordinator
East Building, 5th Floor – TCR
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20590
US Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Coordination and Review Section – NWB
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20530
Complaints will be tracked by the following criteria:
1. Type of complaint, investigation, or lawsuit and will include a summary of the allegations
2. Date of complaint, investigation, or lawsuit
3. The status of the complaint, investigation, or lawsuit, and
4. Actions taken in response to the complaint, investigation or lawsuit.
5. Date of closure of complaint, investigation, or lawsuit.
Records will be stored according to state and federal record retention requirements and reported to WSDOT as required.
How to implement the Title VI policy in practice:
Employees working directly with our clients may, from time to time, have to deal with limited English proficiency clients. There are steps to take to meet the client’s service needs that can make the experience a positive one that will benefit both the staff member and the client.
A survey of drivers was taken and the results clearly indicated that it is a rare occurrence when the rider cannot communicate his/her needs. 82% of the drivers indicated that they “rarely” encounter a rider who does not speak English, 9% indicated they encounter limited English proficiency clients “1 or more times per week”, and 9% indicated they encounter limited English proficiency clients “once a month”. Of the limited English proficiency clients encountered, the drivers indicated that they “usually have someone with them that can speak English”.
The Census Data was also reviewed to determine the number of limited English proficiency clients that we could reasonably expect to come in contact with. The data provided by the Census Bureau was broken down by the zip code of the areas we serve. The group of limited English proficiency people in our area is Spanish speaking and approximately 12% of our population. However, the data indicated that the limited English proficiency speaking populations of our county either do not live on our bus routes or have someone with them that can speak English. Drivers have been instructed that when they encounter someone who needs assistance in communicating their needs, the following procedure is to be followed:
If a driver has a rider who cannot communicate his/her needs in such a manner to be understood due to language barriers, the driver should do the following:
- Give the rider a translated schedule for your route. The client then should be able to let you know what his needs are from that. A copy of the translated comment/complaint form and the Title VI Policy should also be given to the client at the time.
- Both the schedule and the comment/complaint form have a statement on them that tells the client what our discrimination obligations are and how to proceed with a complaint should they have one.
If the above does not solve the communication problem, please contact the Omak office by phone or radio. The dispatcher can then contact an interpreter (through DSHS) and patch them through to you. At that point the rider can make his needs known and the interpreter can give you the information needed.
The purpose is to meet the transportation needs of all our clients. This process provides the tools needed to offer our services to our limited English proficiency clients on an equal basis as our English speaking clients.
OCTN provides the only transportation services in Okanogan County (a county the size of the state of Connecticut). Our services range from intercity transportation that connects the outer areas of the county to the central hub where jobs and job training, education services, medical services and social services are located. This service is heavily utilized and provides our riders access to services not located in their small towns. OCTN also provides door-to-door services within 5 small towns in our county, a shuttle service between the two largest towns in our area, and a commuter route connecting the Colville Indian Agency with Omak. All of these services are desperately needed in our county where long distances between communities are the norm and where the percentage of low income people is high making public transportation critical for those portions of our population who need alternatives to high cost transportation.