You’re a healthcare provider, and a deaf patient is in your waiting room. How will you understand when they tell you their symptoms? And how will you communicate so they understand your self-care instructions? In other words, how do you provide them with the best healthcare services? This publication guides healthcare workers in working with patients who have disabilities. That includes working with deaf patients.
Some guidance is relevant for nearly any patient in any country. For example, it says to ask every patient if they need disability-related help. And it advises to ask the patient about their own individual needs. The publication also advises you about different ways to communicate with deaf patients. For example, writing, using a sign language interpreter, and more.
Meanwhile, some guidance in this publication is only helpful in the United States. For example, guidance about U.S. laws or U.S. service agencies will not help elsewhere. Also, deaf and disability communities in different countries may disagree about “respectful language”. Therefore, clinics in other countries should consult local deaf or disability organizations for advice. For example, a local deaf organization might help find sign language interpreters.
The University of Delaware Center for Disability Studies in the U.S. published this guide in 2011. This PDF file is accessible for most people using screen reading software.