Toolkit for Families of Children with Special Healthcare Needs - General Tools and Tips
Let your doctor know what language you would like information provided in (spoken and written)
What We Learned in this Project
• Not all providers have in place a process for clearly documenting each family’s language preference.
• Some families have a different preference for verbal and written communications. It is rare for both preferences to be documented.
• Families that use sign language may not have their preference documented.
Your Role as Parents - Questions to Ask Yourselves
• Have we let our providers know about our verbal and written language preferences?
• Do we, as parents, have different needs in our verbal and written language preferences? Does our provider know this?
• Are these preferences clearly documented in the chart or electronic record?
• Does your provider know to review documented language preferences ahead of visits to determine whether interpreter services are needed?
• Do we know our rights to get health information in our own language?
• Have we stated clearly that it is not appropriate for a family member to translate during medical visits?
• If we use sign language, does our provider know how to use video relay or other technology so we can communicate?
• Don’t wait until you get to an appointment to let people know what your language preference needs are! Don’t get stuck in a situation where a family member may be asked to convey sensitive health information to you.
• Let your provider know your verbal and written language preferences, including use of sign language.
• Develop a process with your provider for reviewing language preference prior visits to determine need for interpreter services.
• Request written information in the language preferred by your family.
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