Hello all and I hope that this special blog finds you and yours healthy and safe. As you may know, I have worked more than 30 years within the Deaf / ASL community. I also have vast experience with training First Responders on how to engage and communicate with people who are Deaf or have unique challenges, such as Autism.
In order to assist our medical and EMS staff to communicate with people who use sign language or are non-verbal, I have created this downloadable communication chart. It is FREE and you may download and copy as you see fit. I only ask that you keep it free and do not duplicate for profit.
Special note! This chart is NOT to be used for a substitute for a qualified sign language interpreter. It is to be used in conjunction with or until an interpreter arrives.
Additionally, this chart is for basic communication and should be considered more as a “conversation starter”.
How to use this communication chart
The top part of the chart has words to determine if a person is HEARING or DEAF, and to answer simple questions with a YES/ NO/ MAYBE or a HELP response.
The photos on the charts are to get quick answers to the most basic of questions often asked in an emergency room or urgent care. The photos have words embedded to ease understanding and the exchange of information.
There is an alphabet and the numbers 0-9 included. This should ease communication for general information such as obtaining a persons name, their medications, allergies, address , names of people to contact, email and phone numbers. Simply tap the letters or numbers.
I also added some essential words to garner more information – such as if the person is a Spanish speaker, wears hearing aids or has a cochlear implant. And, I thought it was important to know if they were able to read lips.
Or course, there are some typed statements regarding COVID 19 specifically. They are on the second chart in bold.
There are several symbols. These are for phone, email, FaceTime, text, Facebook and What’s App.
Lastly, note that this chart was made in response to the COVID 19 pandemic. I hope that in the days and weeks to come we won’t be needing to have materials created for COVID 19 or any other pandemic. But, I am glad that I could do my little part to help.
Be well. Please share to those who you feel could use this information in the medical / EMS community (or even our very brave grocery store clerks and delivery providers!)
If you wish to learn more about my work with the EMS community please go here