Title VI Policy – English

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OKANOGAN COUNTY TRANSPORTATION

& NUTRITION

Title VI Plan

For the Federal Transit Administration

And Washington State Department of Transportation

 

 __August 1, 2013_____ – ___August 1, 2016____

 Table of Contents

Introduction
Title VI Complaint Procedures
Record of Title VI or Other Civil Rights Investigations, Complaints, or Lawsuits

Limited English Proficiency Outreach Plan
Implementation Plan
Notification of Beneficiaries of Title VI Rights
Analysis of Construction Projects
Summary of Public Participation Efforts
Attachment A – Title VI Non-Discrimination Policy Statement
Attachment B -Title VI Complaint Form
Attachment C – Title VI Notification of Complaint Procedures

Introduction  [Top]

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance.

 Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition (OCTN) is committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of its transit services on the basis of race, color, or national origin, as protected by Title VI in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Circular 4702.1.B

TITLE VI COMPLAINT PROCEDURES [Top]

 Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition (OCTN) is committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of its transit services on the basis of race, color, or national origin, as protected by Title VI in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Circular 4702.1.B  If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination under Title VI, you may file a complaint.

How to file a Title VI Complaint

You may file a signed, written complaint up to one hundred and eighty (180) days from the date you became aware of the incident.  The complaint should include the following information:

Your name, mailing address, and how to contact you (i.e., telephone number, email address, etc.)

  • How, when, where and why you believe you were discriminated against.  Include the location, names and contact information of any witnesses.
  • Other information that you deem significant

A form is available at Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition (OCTN) which may be completed for this purpose.

The complaint may also be filed in writing with Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition (OCTN) at the following address:

 Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition (OCTN)
Executive Director
P.O. Box 711
Omak, WA  98841

By phone: 509-826-4391
By Facsimile:  509-826-4040

NOTE:  Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition (OCTN) encourages all complainants to certify all mail that is sent through the U.S. Postal Service and/or ensure that all written correspondence can be tracked easily.  For complaints originally submitted by facsimile, an original, signed copy of the complaint must be mailed to the Title VI Coordinator as soon as possible, but no later than 180 days from the date the complainant became aware of the incident.

 What happens to your complaint after it is submitted to Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition?

 All complaints alleging discrimination based on race, color or national origin in a service or benefit provided by Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition will be directly addressed by Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition.  Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition shall also provide appropriate assistance to complainants, including those persons with disabilities, or who are limited in their ability to communicate in English.  Additionally, Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition shall make every effort to address all complaints in an expeditious and thorough manner.

In instances where additional information is needed for investigation of the complaint, Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition will contact the complainant in writing.  Please note that in responding to any requests for additional information, a complainant’s failure to provide the requested information may result in the administrative closure of the complaint.

Once sufficient information for investigating the complaint is received by Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition, a written response will be drafted subject to review by Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition’s attorney.  If appropriate, Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition’s attorney may administratively close the complaint.  In this case, Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition will notify the complainant of the action as soon as possible.

How you will be notified of the outcome of your complaint?

 Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition will send a final written response to the complainant and advise the complainant of his or her right to 1) appeal within 7 calendar days of receipt of the final written decision from Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition, and/or 2) file a complaint externally with the U.S. Department of Transportation and/or the Federal Transit Administration.  Every effort will be made to respond to Title VI complaints within 60 working days of receipt of such complaints, if not sooner.

In addition to the complaint process described above, a complainant may file a Title VI complaint with the following offices:

 Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)

Public Transportation Division
Attn: Title VI Coordinator
P.O. Box 47387
Olympia, WA  98504-7387

 Federal Transit Administration Office of Civil Rights

Attention:  Title VI Program Coordinator
East Building, 5th Floor – TCR
1200 New Jersey Ave., SE
Washington, DC   20590

 US Department of Justice

Civil Rights Division
Coordination and Review Section – NWB
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20530

RECORD OF TITLE VI OR OTHER CIVIL RIGHTS INVESTIGATIONS, COMPLAINTS OR LAWSUITS [Top]

 To date, there has been one lawsuit in 2005 alleging discrimination from a former employee but the lawsuit was dismissed in 2008 on the granting of the summary judgment motion filed and argued by Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition’s attorney.

LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY (LEP) PLAN[Top]

Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition is committed to breaking down language barriers by implementing consistent standards of language assistance across its service area.

Census.  The United States is home to millions of national origin minority individuals who are Limited English Proficiency (LEP). That is, their primary language is not English and they cannot speak, read, write or understand the English language at a level that permits them to interact effectively with recipients of Federal financial assistance.

Because of language differences and the inability to effectively speak or understand English, persons with LEP may be subject to exclusion from programs or activities, experience delays or denials of services.  These individuals may be entitled to language assistance with respect to a particular type of service.  The federal government and those receiving assistance from the federal government must take reasonable steps to ensure that LEP persons have meaningful access to the programs, services, and information those entities provide.
This will require agencies to establish creative solutions to address the needs of this ever-growing population of individuals, for whom English is not their primary language.

According to the 2010 Census Data for Okanogan County, English is spoken by 84.9% of Okanogan County County.

15.10 % of the households in Okanogan County speak a language other than English at home.  Of that percentage, Spanish speaking in the household represents 12.7% of the non-English speaking households in Okanogan County.

ANALYSIS OF FACTORS

Factor No. 1:  The number or proportion of LEP persons in the service area.

Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition’s jurisdiction covers Okanogan County which is largely English speaking. The vast majority of the population in Okanogan County (individuals wishing to ride transit) is proficient in English so that LEP services are not normally required. Only .016 % of the population of Okanogan County do not speak English.

Factor No. 2.  The frequency with which LEP individuals come into contact with the service.

Contacts with Okanogan County Transportation are primarily made through its offices located in Omak, WA.  We serve LEP persons daily through our demand response services and our commuter services. We do not track calls or in person visits from LEP individuals.  We have never had to provide translation services for anyone but have arranged with a local translator to provide translation services if needed.

Factor No. 3:  The nature and importance of service provided by Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition (OCTN).

Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition (OCTN) provides important transit services to the public through demand response, door-to-door, commuter, and employment transportation services.

 Factor No. 4.  The resources available to the recipient of the federal funds to assure meaningful access to the service by LEP persons.

Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition’s current in-house language capability is English.  A local medical clinic has offered to provide translation services when necessary. Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition has all schedules and pertinent service information in English and in Spanish.

IMPLEMENTATION PLAN[Top]

 

Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition has implemented its plan and will review it annually, including any contacts with the LEP persons to determine the frequency of contacts, the language used, and how the contacts were handled.  We identify LEP persons in the service area by ridership, telephone contact, demographics and surveys. Staff members who are bilingual are always asked to help with Spanish speaking customers.

Schedules and fares are printed in Spanish. Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition’s Title VI policy and a Complaint form are available on our website.  All schedules contain Title VI language.

In order to comply with 49 CFR 21.9(d), Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition and its sub-recipients must provide information to beneficiaries regarding their Title VI obligations and inform beneficiaries of the protections against discrimination afforded them by Title VI.  Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition has established a statement of rights and a policy statement.

NOTIFYING BENEFICIARIES OF THEIR RIGHTS UNDER TITLE VI [Top]

Our website includes our Title VI policy and complaint form.  The site also states:

Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition does not discriminate on the basis of race, color or national origin.

Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition no descrimina en base de raza, color o origen nacional.                        

  1. Our Title VI policy and complaint form are posted at our Administration and Operations facility  (located at 431 5th Street W, Omak, WA).  Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against may request a complaint form from our drivers or from any staff member.

ANALYSIS OF CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS[Top] 

Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition has not had a construction project
requiring an environmental assessment (EA) or environmental impact statement (EIS).

 SUMMARY OF PUBLIC PARTICIPATION EFFORTS[Top]

Community Outreach is a requirement of Title VI.  Recipients and sub-recipients shall seek out and consider the viewpoints of minority and low-income populations in the course of conducting public outreach.  Recipients have wide latitude to determine what specific measures are most appropriate and should make this determination based on the composition of the affected population, the public involvement process, and the resources of Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition.

Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition makes every effort with its limited resources to include the public in its planning and decision-making processes, as well as its marketing and outreach.

Customer Complaint/Comment  Process:

Citizens may call the Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition offices at 509-826-4391 to lodge a complaint or comment.  Complaint/Comment forms are also available on our website and in the buses in English and Spanish. All complaints/comments are reviewed by the Director of Operations who researches the complaint and responds back to the citizen.

Surveys:

We conduct onboard rider and general awareness surveys where citizens can comment on the quality of service and make suggestions regarding current and future service.

Bilingual Outreach:

Brochures, Schedules and Fares are published and distributed to areas where Spanish speaking citizens gather or utilize services.  Spanish translations of all schedules are located on our website, available at our office, on busses and at local businesses where Spanish speaking people gather.

Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition does not have citizen advisory boards or non-elected planning type boards.

 Attachment  A

 Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition

Title VI Non-Discrimination Policy Statement[Top]

 Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition is committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination in the receipt of its services or programs on the basis of race, color or national origin or any other characteristics protected by law, including Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.  Further, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, no entity shall discriminate against an individual with a physical or mental disability in connection with the provision of transportation service.

 To obtain more information on Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition’s nondiscrimination obligations or to file a Title VI complaint, contact Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition at:

Executive Director                                       email:  transportation@octn.org
431 5th Street W                                             phone:   509-826-4391
Omak, WA  98841                                           fax:       509-826-4040

You may file a written complaint no later than 180 days after the date that you became aware of the incident.

Information on non-English alternative formats may be obtained at the office of  Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition, 431 5th Street W., Omak, WA.

Leanne Whitener, Executive Director

Attachment B

Title VI Complaint Form[Top]

Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act requires that “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”  If you feel you have been discriminated against in transit services, please provide the following information in order to assist us in processing your complaint and send it to:

Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition
Executive Director
P.O. Box 711
Omak, WA  98841

509-826-4391
509-826-4040 (fax)

Please print clearly:

Name:                                                                                                         

 

Mailing Address:                                                                                                 

 

City, State, Zip Code:                                                                                              

 

Telephone Number:  home:                                       cell:                                       message:                                       

 

Person discriminated against:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

 

Address of person discriminated against:                                                           

 

City, State, Zip Code:                                                                                              

 

Please indicate why you believe the discrimination occurred:

 

            Race or color

 

            National origin

 

            Income

 

            Other

What was the date of the alleged discrimination?                                                         

Where did the alleged discrimination take place?                                                

 Please describe the circumstances as you saw it:                                                

 

                                                                                                                  

 

                                                                                                                  

 

                                                                                                                  

 

                                                                                                                  

 

                                                                                                                  

 

                                                                                                                  

 

                                                                                                                  

 

Please list any and all witnesses’ names and phone numbers:

 

                                                                                                                  

 

                                                                                                                  

 

                                                                                                                  

 

                                                                                                                  

 

                                                                                                                  

 

What type of corrective action would you like to see taken?

 

                                                                                                                  

 

                                                                                                                  

 

                                                                                                                  

 

Please attach any documents you have which support the allegation.  Then date and sign this form and send to the Executive Director at the address listed on page 1 of this document.

 

                                                                                                                   

Your signature                                                                                        Date

 

 

 

                                                                       

Print your name

Attachment C

 Title VI Notification of Complaint Procedures[Top]

What is Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

Title VI of the civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance.

Okanogan County Transportation is committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of its transportation services on the basis of race, color, or national origin, as protected by Title VI in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Circular 4702.1.B   If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination under Title VI, you may file a complaint.

How to file a Title VI Complaint?

You may file a signed, written complaint up to one hundred and eighty (180) days from the date you became aware of the incident.  The complaint should include the following information:

  • Your name, mailing address, and how to contact you (i.e., telephone number, email address, etc.).
  • How, when, where and why you believe you were discriminated against.  Include the location, names and contact information of any witnesses.
  • Other information that you deem significant.

The complaint may be filed in writing with Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition at the following address:

 Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition

Executive Director

P.O. Box 711

Omak, WA  98801

By phone:  509-826-4391 or 800-635-4391

By fax:  509-826-4040

NOTE:  Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition encourages all complainants to certify all mail that is sent through the U.S. Postal Service and/or ensure that all written correspondence can be tracked easily.  For complaints originally submitted by fax, an original, signed copy of the complaint must be mailed to the Executive Director as soon as possible, but no later than 180 days from the alleged date of discrimination.  Please use this address to request additional information about Title VI.

What happens to my complaint after it is submitted to Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition?

All complaints alleging discrimination based on race, color or national origin in a service or benefit provided by Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition will be directly addressed by Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition.  Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition shall also provide appropriate assistance to complainants, including those persons with disabilities, or who are limited in their ability to communicate in English.  Additionally, Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition shall make every effort to address all complaints in an expeditious and thorough manner.

In instances where additional information is needed for investigation of the complaint, Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition will contact the complainant in writing.  Please note that in responding to any requests for additional information, a complainant’s failure to provide the requested information may result in the administrative closure of the complaint.

Once sufficient information for investigating the complaint is received by Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition, a written response will be drafted subject to review by the company’s attorney.  If appropriate, Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition’s attorney may administratively close the complaint.  In this case, Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition will notify the complainant of the action as soon as possible.

How will I be notified of the outcome of my complaint?

Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition will send a final written response to the complainant and advise the complainant of his or her right to 1) appeal within 7 calendar days of receipt of the final written decision from Okanogan County Transportation & Nutrition, and/or 2) file a complaint externally with the U.S. Department of Transportation and/or the Federal Transit Administration.  Every effort will be made to respond to Title VI complaints within 60 working days of receipt of such complaints, if not sooner.

In addition to the complaint process described above, a complainant may file a Title VI complaint with the following office.

Washington State Department of transportation (WSDOT)

Public Transportation Division
Attn:  Title VI Coordinator
P.O. Box 47387
Olympia, WA  98504-7387

Federal Transit Administration Office of Civil Rights
Attention:  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