STOP Discriminatory Practice Towards English Language Learner MFTs!

STOP Discriminatory Practice Towards English Language Learner MFTs!

129 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
Petition to
Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family Therapy

Why this petition matters

Started by Lisa Xiong

My name is Lisa Xiong. I am an English language learner (ELL), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. It was brought to my attention that ELL MFTs have to pay extra testing fees for requesting extended time on the written exam. This is a discriminatory practice. I would like your support. Please, sign this petition to request the licensing board to take steps on removing this practice. 

Please read the letter I wrote to the the MN Board of MFT: 

Dear Board Members of Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family Therapy:

We are writing to address inequities in the licensure process for marriage and family therapists who are English language learners (ELL). Currently, the licensing board is utilizing the Professional Testing Corporation (PTC) to administer the national exam.  ELL MFTs are charged extra testing fees if an accommodation of extended test time is requested given that English is not their home language.  In addition, ELL MFTs must also write a statement explaining why they are making the request or having to show proof to substantiate the request. While we understand that there is extra cost for renting space and paying staff, this is provided free of charge for disabled MFTs who request a reasonable accommodation. We would like to posit that it is inequitable that ELL MFTs are not afforded the same reasonable accommodation free of charge. 

The Minnesota Human Rights Act "prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, public services, education, credit, and business based on protected class, such as: race, religion, disability, national origin, sex, marital status, familial status, age, sexual orientation, and gender identity." Charging extra fees to ELL MFTs is unequitable, discriminatory, and ultimately an additional barrier for many providers of color.

Our ELL MFT colleagues share one voice that they feel this is inequitable practice and would like the licensing board to acknowledge that this is a larger systemic issue creating added barriers to licensure for  individuals who are from marginalized communities. We ask that the licensing board stops charging this fee to ELL MFTs as soon as possible. We also ask that, in your partnership with the American Marriage and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB), you discuss and address this discriminatory practice.

There is already a lack of providers of color in the MFT field, let alone MFTs that are ELL and can provide therapy services in their native language. This added barrier limits resources and accessibility to becoming an MFT to serve individuals and families in Minnesota for whom ELL MFTs can be a cultural, ethnic, or linguistic match. We think that if this practice continues, it will be detrimental to the MFT field in Minnesota and a disservice to all the individuals and families who speak languages other than English and would benefit from the services of ELL MFTs. We ask once more that the licensing board seriously and strongly considers ceasing this discriminatory practice of charging an additional fee to ELL who request extra time for taking the national exam as soon as possible.

Sincerely,  ELL MFTS and Allies of ELL MFTS

129 have signed. Let’s get to 200!