ADA

According to the ADA. . .

“Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), hospitals (and all public entities) must provide effective means of communication for patients, family members, and visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The ADA applies to all hospital programs and services, such as emergency room care, inpatient and outpatient services, surgery, clinics, educational classes, and cafeteria and gift shop services. Wherever patients, their family members, companions, or members of the public are interacting with hospital staff, the hospital is obligated to provide effective communication.

Exchanging written notes or pointing to items for purchase will likely be effective communication for brief and relatively simple face-to-face conversations, such as a visitor’s inquiry about a patient’s room number or a purchase in the gift shop or cafeteria.

Written forms or information sheets may provide effective communication in situations where there is little call for interactive communication, such as providing billing and insurance information or filling out admission forms and medical history inquiries.

For more complicated and interactive communications, such as a patient’s discussion of symptoms with medical personnel, a physician’s presentation of diagnosis and treatment options to patients or family members, or a group therapy session, it may be necessary to provide a qualified sign language interpreter or other interpreter.”

For more information, visit the ADA here.