The goal of training is to provide better delivery of preventive, curative and rehabilitative medical care to persons with disability. After the training,by better understanding of various types of barriers in providing the services, the manpower involved will be able to help in improving delivery of medical care to persons with disability having sensory, motor, cognitive or communication disabilities. They can help the persons with disability in overcoming these barriers by good communication, developing rapport with the persons and assisting them in use of various services available. The training can be conducted in form of workshops in which active participation of the employees is useful. A feedback workshop for persons with disability visiting the healthcare facility will also be very useful.
During training, the staff needs to be told that thepersons with disability of different types may require different ways and methods of communication. The expectations of medical staff and expectations of patients who are with disability, from each other, may be different as compared to other patients. Even behavioral expectations may differ. It is required to understand problems of persons with various types of disabilities and the ways they can be addressed. The staff is taught about various communication means that can be used. They need to understand how the directions are to be given to the patients. They should know the alternative means of communication that can be used while interacting with these persons. Learning about appropriate behavior for dealing with persons of different types of disabilities is important. It should be emphasized that the communication should be with the person with disability directly and not through the attendant, as far as possible.They should provide the person with disability who comes to the healthcare facility to get medical care all the information and education material, if required in auditory format, in Braille or in large print.No assumptions regarding their problems and abilities should be made.When the person has understanding problems, the person accompanying also need to be explained so that treatment is taken as advised. Any support required should be provided without harming dignity, privacy and autonomy of the person. Any expression showing pity or disrespect should be avoided. If anything is impairing accessibility, the issue should be addressed at the earliest. The staff should discuss with administration the problems they face in communicating with persons with disabilities so that the best solution of the problem can be found.
They should be told during the training programme about how thefeatures added tovarious equipments make them accessible.The ways and means of communication including ICT means such as messaging, apps and calls, and care and precautions to be taken while interacting and communicating with persons with different types of disability are given below:
Communication with persons with disabilities should be as effective as with others. It is more important in a health care facility, as a small mistake while communicating may lead to undesired or harmful change in management of his or her medical problem. While interacting with a person with disability, he or she also requires to be treated with respect, dignity, consideration and humbleness. They have right to equal opportunities and rights like a person without disability. While interacting with a person with disability
Language to be used for persons with disability
Interacting and communicating with persons with locomotor disabilities
While interacting with a person with locomotor disability the healthcare facility staff should know that
Interacting and communicating with persons with low vision or blindness
Infrastructure with adequate indoor as well as outdoor lighting, use of internationally accepted standards of displaying information for persons with low vision, unobstructed views of displayed information and provision to provide information by audible means are some of the ways to provide access to healthcare facility and services. While interacting with a person with low vision or blindness, the healthcare facility staff should know that
Interacting and communicating with persons with hearing problems like hard of hearing and deaf
Communication is very important in medical care. Wrong understanding can lead to wrong interpretation of history so wrong diagnosis. If the person is not able to understand the directions given by doctor, it may lead to improper or wrong treatment.
Persons with auditory disability usually communicate by speaking or by using auditory aids, oral interpreter, cued speech interpreter or Computer Assisted Real Time Transcription (CART) etc.
Providing written information is a useful way for exchange of small information. If longer interaction is required or the information exchanged is complicated or crucial, a qualified interpreter or a sign language interpreter should be provided. An interpreter is also required when a minor patient is accompanied by a person with hearing disability.
Interpretation if required, should be done by a qualified interpreter. Help of any other person like family members may be taken in an emergency situation. There are many situations whiledelivering healthcare where interpreter may be required for effective communication seeing the importance of the information. The interpreter should be able to effectively understand and convey the information to both the parties. The interpretation should be effective and impartial and should maintain privacy of the communication.
Sign language interpreters are effective only for people who use sign language. Other methods of communication such as the use of a transcriber may be necessary for those who lose hearing later in life and do not use sign language.
Hospital staff should be well versed with the hospital protocol of getting an interpreter at the earliest. Information boards or display screens should be placed near the place where the information is sought usually.
Teletypewriter (TTY, TTD or TDD) is used by some persons with hearing disability. The device helps in telephonic communication by converting spoken message into text which is displayed on a screen and vice-versa.
Visual alarms must be provided where audible alarms are provided.
Some of public phones must be compatible with TTY and hearing aid. They should have volume control.
All the communications aids should be made available without any charge.
Following points need to be emphasized during training of the healthcare facility staff for communicating and dealing with persons with hearing disability
Interacting and communicating with persons with speech and language problems/difficulties
While interacting with a person with disability the healthcare facility staff should know the following.
Interacting and communicating with persons with intellectual disability
Before providing accessible services, the healthcare providing staff should know the following points
Interacting and communicating with persons with psychiatric disabilities
Source : Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
Last Modified : 6/10/2023
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