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Ill. nonprofits take lead on overhaul translation

Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

CHICAGO – Nonprofit groups and community organizations in Illinois aren’t waiting for government officials to translate information about the nation’s health overhaul into languages other than English.

In Illinois, where nearly 1.2 million residents don’t speak English well, the task of translating information about the health care overhaul has fallen, for now, to nonprofit groups and community organizations. Illinois lagged behind California and some other states in applying for funds and does not expect to have federal money to back state government outreach efforts until later this year.

To fill the gap, the Chicago group has worked with the Asian Health Coalition to produce fact sheets in Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Khmer, Altman said. With help from a $10,000 grant from a foundation, the groups have distributed the fact sheets at five in-person presentations in linguistically isolated neighborhoods where many people have never heard of the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare.”

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