Interpretive Services and Accessibility

Group Health strives to remove barriers to care, whether they are due to language differences or physical impairments.

Interpretive Services

Group Health provides professional interpreters in any language, free of charge. We train our staff to recognize when an interpreter is needed, how to communicate the option for an interpreter, and how to make an interpreter available.

Interpreters also are available to those with sight, speech, and hearing impairments. Group Health provides free professional sign language and tactile interpreters for those with speech and hearing impairments, as well as Braille translations of certain print materials.

Many of our providers are bilingual. When searching for a provider in our Provider Directory, you can narrow your search results by selecting a preferred language.

Additionally, the Resource Line offers some member information materials in languages other than English.

Video Remote Interpreter Service

Our Video Remote Interpreter (VRI) system provides real-time, visual access to sign language services, 24/7, at our Bellevue and Capitol Hill Campus Urgent Care Centers.

Health care team members use VRI to connect quickly and securely to an off-site interpreter who assists the patient and health care team members with effective communication through a camera and large monitor.

Accessibility

Group Health offers auxiliary services to ensure effective communication for individuals with speech, hearing, or sight impairments. We also address accessibility for those with mobility impairments in accordance with federal, state, and local law, and in particular, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

For individuals with hearing and speech impairments, Group Health works with Washington Relay Service and Idaho Relay Service to communicate with those who use TTY machines. You can find the local TTY number listed on each of our medical facility pages.

Our website adheres to the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to make the website accessible to people who may be using devices such as computers that read the text of a Web page out loud.

Service Animals

A service animal is an animal trained to assist a person who has a disability. Service animals guide people with vision impairments, alert individuals with hearing impairments, pull wheelchairs, alert and protect people who are having seizures, and perform other special tasks. A service animal may accompany a person in the normal use of Group Health facilities except when the animal is out of control and the animal's owner does not take effective action to control it, the animal poses a direct threat to health and safety of others, or both.

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