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Equitable Healthcare Requires Equitable Communication

January 9, 2024

Topics covered:  OB-GYN & Interpreters 

Accessibility is more than just providing an interpreter! It is also ensuring that the interpreter provided is suitable for the specific context, allowing for effective communication and truly breaking down barriers. 

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Video Description and Transcript

Video Description:

The post has a video thumbnail with rose shading overlaid. The middle has a text bubble that reads “Accessibility misses the mark” in white text with blue background. In the video: A young woman with curly brown hair is standing in front of the camera and she wears a blue vest with a purple turtleneck.  


About January 2022 I became severely sick. My period was constant. It would not stop. Naturally, it impacted my daily life. I booked an appointment with the OB-GYN office. They informed me, “I’m sorry, the next available appointment is in 3 months.” I was dismayed but I made sure to request an interpreter. After three months of waiting, with my period continuing the entire time, I finally could go to the OB-GYN office. I filled out forms and I was greeted by my interpreter, a much older man “Are you comfortable with me as your interpreter?” he asked I decided to ask the front desk if I could request another interpreter. “If you want another interpreter, we have to reschedule the appointment.” Do you think I wanted to wait another few months to get an appointment? Absolutely not! I decided to go ahead. We entered the doctor’s office and I was so excited to finally be talking with a doctor to address this issue. I looked to my interpreter and noticed… (Remember, this is a OB-GYN office) Of course, the room was covered in images of vaginas, ovaries, and reproductive systems. I noticed my interpreter was extremely uncomfortable. He couldn’t decide which wall to look at and he decided that he would stare at the ceiling while interpreting the entire time. [The screen fades to show a thumbnail of a faded white background of a doctor holding hands with another individual] Deaf. Healthy. DeafHealth. Learn more at] 

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