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New! Improved Access to Communication Program for Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing

 

Horizon recognizes the diversity of the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community and respects individual patient communication preferences when arranging for services. Whether you are admitted to the hospital, or you are coming in for an appointment, we want to ensure that we are effectively communicating with you!

With advance notice, in-person sign language interpreting services and / or assistive listening devices (ALDs) are available upon request to all Horizon hospital and clinic patients who identify themselves as Deaf and / or hard-of-hearing as an essential part of their health care.

  • Assistive listening devices (ALDs)
    • Personal amplifier - a wearable electronic product that amplifies sounds and helps facilitate one-on-one discussions between patients and staff.
    • Telephone amplifier - an in-line attachment for a patient's phone to increase the volume of a caller's voice.
  • Sign language interpreting services:
    • Option 1 - An in-person professional sign language interpreter in either official language can be arranged for appointments.
    • Option 2 - A virtual professional sign language interpreter in either official language can be accessed through the Language Line Interpreter on Wheels service, which is a telephone or video interpretation service used in Horizon facilities for more than 250 languages including American Sign Language and some First Nations languages. The audio or video call takes place on a tablet attached to a medical grade stand with wheels allowing for hands-free interpretation services during patient care.

Preparing for Your Hospital Stay or Visit

Family/Friend Contact: Decide prior to your visit who will be your contact person while you are at the hospital and have that contact information available.

Keep a Record: Bring a complete list of medications, medical history, current doctors, your audiologist and contact numbers to the hospital. 

Devices to Bring: Smartphone, iPad, hearing devices with extra batteries or charger and hearing device case labelled with your name.

Smartphone Apps: Load any apps that you will need to communicate.  Be sure to practice using Speech-to-Text apps, such as Google Live Transcribe, before going to the hospital.  It is also important to write down login information if an app requires a password.

Alternative Communication Methods: A pad of paper and a pen, white board, markers or writing tablet are also useful communication tools. Bring these to the hospital as a backup tool to your smartphone or hearing device.

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