Firstly, I’ll be fine 😊
Last week, I had to go into #Kaiser to get some labs done. The experience was similar to entering a military base. It was organized, compartmentalized, strict, professional, and impersonal. Which is a good thing considering today’s situation with #COVID19.
The thing I struggled the most with was: how incredibly difficult it was for me to communicate as a #Deaf woman who often relies on #lipreading.
Luckily, my amazing fiancé was with me to help me answer questions and communicate. Yet, not having #access to the information myself made me feel very isolated, a bit frustrated, & lesser than.
I know everyone who handled my care yesterday was doing their best to keep me safe and themselves safe. I am not complaining about my treatment. I am simply acknowledging something that many people don’t usually realize.
If you know me, you know I rarely bring up a problem without offering cost efficient solutions. So, here are some things #Hospitals can do that would assist, not only the Deaf & #HardofHearing, but also the #Elderly & #DifferentlyAbled when they visit the hospital during #Corona.
1. Disposable paper print outs with instructions on where to go, who to talk to, & current procedure typed in large fonts that can be handed to anyone who is differently abled.
*** bonus info: it would help to make the font large to assist our elderly and those who are visually impaired. They could also provide these printouts in multiple languages for non- English speakers.
2. Provide check in staff with white boards to write questions and instructions in real time for the patient to read quickly.
****Bonus: Assign that one person with a white board to accompany the patient through their experience until an interpreter or other accessibility service can be provided.
3. Refresh all staff’s memory on accessibility services (such as #ASL Interpreters), how to request these services, who to call, and how to effectively communicate with patients in need of these services.
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