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Innovative Spanish Administrative Hearings Improve Access

The Washington State Office of Administrative Hearings collaborated with key stakeholders to develop and implement proficiency standards, quality processes and customer surveys in a two-year project. The project results showed improved access and understanding of the administrative hearing process when the Administrative Law Judge communicated directly in Spanish with the claimants. Project components included standardizing legal terminology, creating an ALJ certification methodology, and creating scripts for consistency. The three bilingual ALJs will share their firsthand experience holding hearings in Spanish. Survey results from the project were overwhelmingly positive and Spanish hearings have continued as part of standard operations.