Toolkit for Providers Serving Children with Hearing Loss
Tip #3: Collect and Document Family's Language Preference
What We Learned
• 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.
What We Did
• Tested documenting family’s verbal and written language preference.
• Reviewed preference prior to visits to ensure interpreter needs were being met, and written information was being given in the appropriate language.
Questions for My Practice
• Do we routinely ask families about their verbal and written language preferences?
• Are these preferences clearly documented in the chart or electronic record?
• Do we review documented language preferences ahead of visits to determine whether interpreter services are needed?
Changes to Try in My Practice
• Routinely document verbal and written language preferences, including use of sign language.
• Develop a process for reviewing language preference prior to visits to determine need for interpreter services.
• Give written information in the language preferred by the family for that modality.
• Find and use a local telephone sign language interpreter service, where spoken phone messages can be translated by a sign language interpreter and relayed to the family via videophone link.