Communication is critical in health care. Having access to communicate in the most effective means possible is crucial; otherwise, serious consequences can be the result.
Here are resources to assist people who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and health care professionals to communicate in a medical or hospital setting. More resources will be added as they are found. Please contact us if you know of a resource that should be added.
- Make Your Service Accessible: Emergency Medical Service (EMS) – information for first responders in face-to-face emergency situations (e.g. accident, sudden onset illness) and disasters (e.g. flood, hurricane) as well as suggestions for people with speech and language disabilities.
- Make Your Service Accessible: Hospital In-Patient Services – information for health care professionals working in hospitals as well as suggestions for people with speech and language disabilities.
- Access to Healthcare: Glossary of Accommodations and Supports for Patients with Communication Disabilities – a guide when considering communication accommodations and supports for patients who have communication disabilities.
- Patient Communication: What If You Had a Speech Disability? – Glenda Watson Hyatt shares her experiences interacting with health care professionals and offers suggestions for improving communication with patients who have speech and language disabilities.
- Tips for Communicating in a Hospital Setting (PDF) – a document with communication tips that can be customized by people who have speech and language disabilities and shared with health care professionals.
- Patient Provider Communication – a site with many resources to assist with communication between patient and health care provider.
- A Guideline for Assisted (Video-)Calling for Patients Using Alternative Means and Methods of Communication in the Clinical Context (PDF) – how providers can support their patients with communication difficulties to participate in video calls with loved ones during a hospital stay.
- Communication and End of Life – resources designed to inform health care professionals, patients/clients and their loved ones about common communication and swallowing issues at the end of life.
Health-Related Communication Aides
- Bedside Messages – 26 key phrases supported by symbols for patients.
- Child Post-Operative Communication Chart (PDF) – free download from Widgit Health.
- In Case of Emergency (ICE) Communication Card – pack of 20 from Bridges Canada
- Communication Tools – several hospital-based communication tools available for free download.
- Healthcare Vocabulary Sets – free downloadable communication aids.