He needed an in-person ASL interpreter. We reminded his medical providers of their responsibility. #AdvocacyMatters

March 23, 2018 / #AdvocacyMatters

A man signs with a person sitting across from him while a woman looks over his shoulder

Jack was trying to schedule an appointment with a new family doctor. He needed an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter and knew that his doctor was required to provide one, but when he called the doctor's office, he hit some roadblocks. The receptionist told Jack that they would provide video remote interpreting (VRI) instead of an in-person interpreter from an agency Jack knew to be reliable.

Jack was frustrated and knew this arrangement would not work for him. He had run into problems with VRI in the past - it often disconnects, freezes up, lags or the audio feed drops, turning a 15-minute appointment into an hour-long ordeal. He knew he needed a live, trusted interpreter at the appointment with him, so he reached out to DRO for help.

A DRO attorney contacted Jack's medical provider to resolve the situation. After hearing from DRO, the provider sent Jack a list of potential interpreters. He was happy to be able to choose an interpreter from one of his preferred agencies to attend the appointment with him in person.

Everyone has the right to effective communication during appointments with medical and other treatment providers. To find out more about your rights, visit DRO's Self-Advocacy Resource Center.


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