[Onscreen talent is signing]
When you arrive at an urgent care clinic or emergency room, it’s your responsibility to request communications assistance. Be specific in the kind of assistance you need. For example, if you communicate through ASL, say that you need an ASL interpreter.
Remember, the people who are treating you have no way of knowing that you’re deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing and that you need an interpreter in order to understand your situation and their recommendations for your care.
They also may have had limited experience treating deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing patients and might make some wrong assumptions.
[Text on screen: Assume you can read English proficiently]
They might assume that you can read English proficiently. They may not understand that ASL is your primary language.
[Text on screen: Assume you are bi-lingual]
They might assume that you are bi-lingual and that communicating in writing is as effective as communicating through an ASL interpreter.
[Text on screen: Assume it’s OK for a family member to interpret]
Or, they might assume that it’s OK to have a family member interpret for you.
It’s not, by the way.
[Text on screen: Assume you can hear if they talk louder]
They might even assume that you’ll be able to hear if they just talk louder!
Even though you may be in pain or extremely ill, you need to be patient and respectful.
Make your needs known, then follow up until you get the assistance you need.