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Overview

Federal legislation mandates effective communication for deaf, U.S. hospital patients. Despite this directive, evidence indicates that access to healthcare for deaf patients remains inadequate, inappropriate, or unethical.

This study employs an institutional, ethnographic approach to investigate established policies for legislative compliance vis-à-vis medical professional actions and deaf patient experiences within a U.S. healthcare system.

Participant observation, interviews, and textual analysis can isolate points of disjuncture and reveal institutional processes implicated in negotiating access. The aim is to identify systemic factors contributing to disparities reported by deaf patients.

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Letter or Spirit of the Law: An Institutional Ethnography of Effective Communication Access in U.S. Hospitals

Helen Thumann

202-250-2043

202-448-7067

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