Accessibility Options

Contact Information

Center for Disabilities Studies
University of Delaware
461 Wyoming Road
Newark DE 19716
Phone: 302-831-6974
TDD: 302-831-4689
Email: info@gohdwd.org

Using Sign Language Interpreters in Medical Settings

 

DeafMD

DeafMD.org: Health Education in American Sign Language is an organization whose mission is to ‘provide clear and concise health education in American Sign Language to promote the overall wellness of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing community.’ On this site you will find ASL explanations of illnesses and tests. There is also a Deaf Friendly Doctor search tool to find a doctor that is right for you.

 

Effective Communication for Health Care Providers

Identifying a patient’s disability and its potential impact on effective communication is the first step in reducing the risk of miscommunication. The type of disability-whether intellectual, sensory, mobility or mental health-will help determine the kind of accommodation needed. Usually minor accommodations can be made to ensure effective communication. There are many options for auxiliary aids and services to ensure effective communication. Health care providers and their staff can develop skills and acquire tools that will allow them to successfully provide accommodations to patients with disabilities.

 

Questions and Answers for Healthcare Providers

Federal disability discrimination laws mandate equal access to and an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from health care services, and effective communication with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. This memorandum, prepared by the National Association of the Deaf focuses on the obligations of private health care providers.

 

ADA Series Fact Sheet 2: Providing Effective Communication

 Places of public accommodation are required to ensure that customers or clients with disabilities affecting hearing, vision, speech, or cognition are provided with effective communication through auxiliary aids and services that enable them to fully benefit from facilities, services, goods, and programs. This ADA fact sheet is titled, “Providing Effective Communication.”

 

Communicating with People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in Hospital Settings

People who are deaf or hard of hearing use a variety of ways to communicate. Some rely on sign language interpreters or assistive listening devices; some rely primarily on written messages. Many can speak even though they cannot hear. Effective communication is particularly critical in health care settings where miscommunication may lead to misdiagnosis and improper or delayed medical treatment.

 

Tax Incentive For Businesses

Businesses can take advantage of two federal tax incentives available to help cover costs of making access improvements for customers with disabilities. This fact sheet outlines eligibility and requirements for these incentives.

 

Use of a Certified Deaf Interpreter

A Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) is an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing and has been certified by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf as an interpreter. This document outlines the possible settings in which an interpreter would be used as well as more information about the definition and job description of a CDI.

 

Interpreting in Health Care Settings

The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc., (RID) Standard Practice Paper (SPP) provides a framework of basic, respectable standards for RID members’ professional work and conduct with consumers. This paper also provides specific information about the practice setting. This document is intended to raise awareness, educate, guide and encourage sound basic methods of professional practice in reference to interpreting in health care settings.

 

Team Interpreting

The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc., (RID) Standard Practice Paper (SPP) provides a framework of basic, respectable standards for RID members’ professional work and conduct with consumers. This paper also provides specific information about the practice setting. This document is intended to raise awareness, educate, guide and encourage sound basic methods of professional practice in reference to team interpreting.

 

Professional Sign Language Interpreting

The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc., (RID) Standard Practice Paper (SPP) provides a framework of basic, respectable standards for RID members’ professional work and conduct with consumers. This paper also provides specific information about the practice setting. This document is intended to raise awareness, educate, guide and encourage sound basic methods of professional practice in reference to professional sign language interpreting.

 

NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID) uphold high standards of professionalism and ethical conduct for interpreters. The code of Professional Conduct (formerly known as the Code of Ethics) contains seven principles to follow as a guide to professional behavior.

 

Accessibility applies to both communication and physical access. For instance, health professionals need to be aware of how to effectively communicate with patients who have a range of disabilities, including people who are deaf or hard of hearing, or who have a speech, vision or intellectual disability. This document provides insight to the need and importance of accessibility in a health care practice. Additional resources to improve accessibility in your practice are also included.

 

ADA Access to Medical Care for Individuals with Mobility Disabilities

Accessibility of doctors’ offices, clinics, and other health care providers is essential in providing medical care to people with disabilities. Due to barriers, individuals with disabilities are less likely to get routine preventative medical care than people without disabilities. Accessibility is not only legally required, it is important medically so that minor problems can be detected and treated before turning into major and possibly life-threatening problems. This ADA document provides an overview, general requirements, and commonly asked questions in regards to services and facilities, accessible examination room requirements and features as well as accessible medical equipment requirements and features.

 

How to Obtain Sign Language Interpreter(s)

This document from the Delaware office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing provides information about different types of assistive services as well as contact information.  Definitions of these services are outlined as well as steps to take when contacting interpreters.

Department of Justice Barrier Free Health Care Inititiative Settlement Agreements

Justice Department Reaches Multiple Settlements with Health Care Providers to Stop Discrimination Against Persons with Hearing Disabilities. This site outlines these cases.

For more information on the above topics, please contact:

Eileen Sparling

sparling@udel.edu or 302-831-8802
Project  Director, Healthy Delawareans with Disabilities
Center for Disabilities Studies
461 Wyoming Road
Newark, DE