Virginia Language Connections (VLC) is Virginia Poverty Law Center’s language access and interpreter scholarship program. VLC seeks to break down the language barrier preventing community member from accessing care and to connect them with vital health resources.

Since VPLC’s statewide health enrollment assistance program began in 2013, assisters have identified barriers to health care access including lack of health insurance and limited knowledge about free clinics and community health clinics. A lack of in-person interpretation in community members’ preferred languages has also prevented Virginians from accessing care. Our findings include that:

In response to these barriers, VLC launched in fall 2023, funding 10 qualified candidates to participate in a language proficiency exam and the nationally recognized Bridging the Gap interpreter certification program. Upon completion of the program, we will connect candidates with job opportunities at designated community health centers within their region in Virginia. Participants in the 2023-2024 Virginia Language Connections cohort will complete the Bridging the Gap program in November 2023 and commit to a 12-month work agreement with a participating health clinic.

Are you part of a clinic organization that would be interested in hosting a candidate, or do you have questions about applying for the VLC program? Contact to learn more.

Infographic from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services about health care access and people with Limited English Proficiency (LEP):