Two heterogeneous populations with widely varying needs are being increasingly encountered in breast care facilities: blind or low vision patients and deaf or hard of hearing patients. The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act mandate that all governments, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations provide effective communication to those facing hearing, vision, or speech communication disabilities and that the provided communication is equally effective as that provided to those lacking communication disabilities. It is vitally important that breast center providers understand the requirements put forth by these acts in the provision of patient care, which includes interactions with the patient as well as their family members and partner. Breast center providers must identify each patient's individual needs and preferred method of communication. Options to assist in communication for the deaf or hard of hearing include the use of text conversations, preprinted or accessible video health care education material, and dedicated American Sign Language or video interpreters. Attention to breast imaging facility design, access to large print or braille documents, and the use of qualified readers can aid in improving access and communication for the blind or low-vision individual. All members of the breast health team, from scheduling staff to front office personnel, technologists, and breast imaging radiologists, should understand how to respectfully communicate with and identify the needs of patients facing these challenges.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology