Jan 20

My Rights or My Needs?




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I’m doing some self-assessment in to determine whether to have interpreters for private medical office visits.


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  1. anonymous

    I did go to pediatrics doctor everyyear when I am under 18 years, my dad never request for interpreter, he use paper and pen and we did go without any problem. Unless if you have very serious problem or issue, you may need interpreter for this. But if for only health check up, flu, cold, or other mild problem, you may not need intepreter.

  2. Sandi

    I have same situtation like you when I needed an appt with a new doctor somehow they turned down because of an interpreter issues. It is tough when it is needed like an urgent medical, not like flu, cold or basic. if it is really serious, you should talk to the right director and explained why it is needed and they will have a second thought, but they can be stubborn. As you know I kept telling the doctor that they can use the tax dectitube(sp) after pay an interpreter as much as they want to put it down on tax. they never thought and it works. It is really complication. but Hey! Don’t give up on yourself as a Deaf person, not acitivities. Good luck!

  3. Lucky

    Sometimes….advocates need advocates!

    Get one!

  4. moi

    I am sorry you are having a struggle within yourself. But it seems you need to stop worrying so much about making the doctors happy and have a good relationship with doctor. It seems like this worrying has confused your emotions. But brave Vlog- I am glad you shared with us.

  5. Deaf Pixie

    Awww! I have trouble to deal with my former doctor they are discriminated our family that they dont want to hire an interpreter. and They dismissed us because they don’t accept to hire certificate interpreter. I was told that they required to hire non certificate interpreter and often the interpreter never show up clinic 99 per-cent of their time to waste my time. I fired three agencies of forgein agencies which they are not certificate.

    This is kind of jeopoary situation to hire bad interpreter if I die with wrongful medical liability? Need to advocate to fight in each of state in United States.
    Do interpreter require to pay their expense of liabitiy insurance to protected from medical error?

    I keep wonder “What do you think? who is fault?”

    Deaf Pixie

  6. Deaf Pixie

    Again, I review of your explaination about your right or your Need?
    I have similiar situation. The doctor force my kid to interpreter and we feel it is not seem right. I contuine fight and fight .. My engry has been waste time and made more difficult. I am now processing file complaint since June 2007 and Keep me wonder alot of time.

    I think you need to straight with doctor for yourself. and make a good looking and print out and show doctor of NAD.org/intepreter and doctor and Hospital. Just print out three of these and show doctor to read it. Much easier and light of your burden.

    I think something that you can explaining better. I know it is hard to big reliality of your medical issues or your mental and health related. you are not alone. I have struggle for 20 years.

    A.D.A Law sometime tricky you for being middle of between interpreter and doctor including you. I complete understood that I have go through HELL

  7. Deaf Pixie

    I agree with Moi’s statement you need to not worry about it.. Just print out and show the doctor or office manager. It would much better and I getting educated to several doctor. It is not simply and someone can go with you to approached with office manager, etc.

    It won’t bit you a huge your pants off?

    Think and relaxation and communicate better with interpreter as roles meaning interpreter role’s job..

    I want to tell you something it was impacted me over a years ago.

    Doctor’s medical assitance ran into exam room where I was took my daughter to doctor. Nurse say the hosptial the mother’s baby struggle to not able to get breast feed for couple hours. and seem worsen.. So ASL interpreter mentioned to us front doctor and medical assitance. Somehow Dr was blew up at interpreter. I say TIME-OUT!

    Dr say your interpreter is violated. I said No, your medical asstiance is one of enter this exam room. you and medical asstiance should have get out of exam room. She brought up the medical issues front us. It was not interpreter’s fault. Interpreter is role as her job to tell me what it happened. It was between you and medical asstiance should leave the exam room for short time. Dr say What?

    I explained to her about HIPAA, Health Information Patient Portability and Accountability Act

    * Example:

    Your PHI may be used or disclosed for the following purposes without your consent, authorization or opportunity to agree or object:
    As Required by Law: Your PHI will be used or disclosed when we are legally required to do so. If this occurs, we will limit the PHI used or disclosed to the minimum necessary to comply with the law.

    Inmates: If you are an inmate, your PHI may be used or disclosed to the correctional institution or agents thereof when necessary for your health or the health and safety of others.

    Emergencies: Your PHI may be used or disclosed in an emergency treatment situation. Your acknowledgement will be obtained as soon as practicable following the emergency.

    To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety: We may use and disclose PHI about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person.

    Organ Procurement Organizations: Consistent with applicable law, we may disclose PHI to organ procurement organizations for the purpose of organ and tissue donation and transplant.

    *Doctor realized her staff violated of her patient and her baby. I was brought my daughter to see doctor. It is wrong time and wrong place to not discuss with your doctor of their patients. I had to stopped the doctor accused to interpreter.
    After I explained my daughter’s doctor. For Example: If you hire foregin language interpreter and you would not know what they were talked about and the patient who is came from France. France interpreter can tell patient after exam room Go outside and tell the french patient about what happened. Same thing!!! Dr say You are right. I never thought and never expereince with ASL interpreter.

    I wrote a complaint to doctor and notifity the office manger about situation Doctor’s performance were stink.. but, Cannot do that to accuse ASL interpreter. Her job to tell me. It was not my fault.. Just you and medical asstiance.

    My younger daughter say What are you talked about HIPAA.. she lost and dont get it.. I know HIPAA policy.

    It is new passed law with a new change HIPAA since April 2005 or 2006

  8. Deaf dating

    Good point. They should make an adjustment on it.

  9. pax

    i am trying to make sense of what u had just said on vlog…u said u chose not to ask for interpreter, but u said u were then not satisfied with the communication afterward ?

    did i understand u u didnt ask for interpreter bec by insisting on ur need, it wld then imply that u were needy for help ?

    whileas insisting on ur (civil) right (for equal communication accessibility), it implies what ?

    in either case, ur dr refused providing interpreter in his office

    were u saying u ought to go in dr’s office and not ask for interpreters ? and put up with lousy communication ? NO of course

    ********** dr can refuse interpreters bec in a civil right ADA clause it mentions that ADA accomodations shld not be at unreasonable cost that wld disrupt his small office’s budget….but only if his office is part of large corporation which employs over a certain number of employees and makes huge profit, interpreters therefore wont be unreasonable cost, and can be required to provide accomodations (expanding bathroom,lowering water fountation, interpreter,s etc)

    to circumvent (sidestep) the difficulties, i use drs at BIG hospital instead :) by that way, they cldnt refuse interpreters. whileas small private dr office can refuse interpreters that wld bankrupt a small office business

    just want to clarify on what u are driving at

    hard thinking person you :)

  10. cuong aka buzz

    which one you care about deaf community base on our rights or just for your good relationship with doctor base on your personal needs?

    we all already did many years to focus on our “so-called” personal needs to see doctors without providing us an interpreter. it did STUNT (never grow or not better) our deaf community for many years ago.

    after ada law passed, take a hard look at the access around us to compare today and few years ago? vrs, vri, interpreters at hospital for er, urgent care, court are improved a lot and better for our access today than several years ago except private medical office visits. right? someone did work harder to advocate before us. of course, it is time for our turn to advocate ours instead of take “cheat” short cut path base on our “so-called” personal needs.

    keep in mind, if you are worried about your relationship with doctor base on your personal needs then you will misguide doctor to think he/she was not required to provide you any interpreter due to private medical office visits issue. next new person wants to call for scheduling new appointment with your same doctor and request for an interpreter. that person can’t read or write who need interpreter badly but will have hard time to convince your same doctor about ada because you did not confront base on your personal needs.

    they did speak out their voice to fight for our rights by ada so i can’t afford to be lazy by sitting back to focus on my so-called personal in order to save my relationship with doctor.

    if you feel comfortable to communicate with doctor in writing and reading WITHOUT barrier of communication then it is okay for you to go ahead seeing doctor without an interpreter in short notice appointment. then you have not done any wrong yet.

    p.s. you look familiar to me. did you go to dino’s wedding in north of seattle, washington?


  11. Anonymous

    Everyone has a right and everyone has a need.

    The National Association of the Deaf has published a wealth of information.

    For legal rights to Health Care, go to http://www.nad.org/site/pp.asp?c=foINKQMBF&b=92505

    You are President of New Jersey Association of the Deaf and should know all about the National Association of the Deaf. Please take time to review them. In addition, The NJ Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has published information regarding your rights to an interpreter in the medical field.

    Forget your needs, focus on your rights.

  12. C

    my husband had the same problem. He found a doctor that knew signs. So, he’s been with that doctor ever since. From talking with some people who have HMO’s. Seems HMOs are more accomodating and will require interpreters present for office visits. I think that writing on paper can be cumbersome, depending on the reason for the visit. Most private practice are affiliated with certain hospitals. Would be nice if hospitals can work with these doctors to ensure that interpreters are available for those that really need one. I’ve done ok without an interpreter, so far.

  13. Sean

    Anon (1/20 at 9:12pm) –

    Your father is doing the exactly the same way as I do to my son. What it bothers me lot, I don’t want my son to become an interpreter for me when he gets sick. (He is hard of hearing.) Hmm?

    Sandi –

    Tax deductible? Hmmm… That’s a good option to mention when asking for the interpreter if the office manager disagrees… Hmm… Thanks for the compliment! :-)

    Lucky –

    How true! 😉

    Moi –

    All doctors have emotions. I do not want to be examined by a doctor who is filled with bitterness from getting an interpreter for my office visits. Thanks for the compliments.

    Deaf Pixie –

    Interesting… I don’t know about this. Would the interpreters be liable for any wrongful medical actions? I don’t know about this. If the doctors feel the interpreters translated wrong information, they (interpreters) are liable for any wrongful.

    According to ADA, medical practitioners are required to pay the cost of the interpreter services.

    When doctor force your kid to be an interpreter is unbelievable! That doctor must be so inconsiderable when it comes to your children. Oy! I am really sorry you have go through this mess!!! I hope you WIN!

    Thanks for sharing us your experience. HIPAA is one of the “messed-up” rules. I learned most medical practitioners do not understand what HIPAA means. *sigh* It means we need to educate them how to interpret the policy properly.

    Thanks for sharing! :-)

    Deaf dating –


    Pax –

    Yes, I chose not to ask for interpreter because I didn’t want to attend a medical practitioner and seek for a treatment and fight against them to get me an interpreter. I’d prefer to get the treatment first! Remember, I want to win their good graces. I don’t want to step on a bumpy road with Doctors whom I need to entrust them with my health.

    Most doctors think their communication using paper-n-pen is pretty sufficient. They feel their communication with me (as a deaf patient) is quite satisfying. They didn’t care if I didn’t find it satisfying. All they are interested in, they told me. That’s it!

    Re: ADA – true, but if the communication fails, they have to comply in providing an interpreter to meet the need of the communication between doctor and the patient. Now, speaking about “unreasonable cost”… I’d like save this for my next vlog. I am in the middle of making one about ADA’s reasonable accommodation.

    Clarification: I want to be able to go to doctor’s office with any health-related issues and have an interpreter there at all the times. That’s my utopia! The reality is, I feel I am able to communicate with doctors via writing. I find it as good enough. This method of communication gets what I need to know. The entire point is: should I continue doing this? Should I reposition myself from this passive thinking and being more proactive in educating the doctors how valuable interpreters are for communication’s sake with hearing loss patients?

    Good comment, Pax!

    Buzz (Cuong) –

    I’m selfish; I want the best treatment from doctors! If it (my passive actions) gets me good relationships with doctors, I’d take that direction. It’s my personal need. But again, I’m concerned about my rights. It’s a lose-lose situation for me.

    When the law (ADA) is passed, it has sprung the biggest mofo jar of worms! There are lot more problems. Why can’t we simply pass a law that minimizes the problems? No, it did the opposite. What can I do, I “cheat” (as per of your interpretation) short path to get what I want.

    Yes, you are right. It will misguide the doctors on what they are supposed to do. I feel it is a lose-lose situation. Sigh.

    You are thinking as an activist. I need you here to go everywhere I go. 😉 But seriously, what should I do as an activist for Deaf Rights for the community and my personal needs? It’s not easy. Like Lucky (one of the commenter) said, advocates needs advocates. :-)

    Off the point: Yes, I went to Dino’s wedding. :-)

    Anon (1/21 at 9:07pm) –

    I’m familiar with NAD’s legal information. I’m here to speak as an individual who is at loss between his passion for Deaf Rights and his own needs. It’s not easy to be an activist to my own needs.

    Yes, I’m a president of New Jersey Association of the Deaf and am very familiar with DDHH’s published information. Again, it’s not easy to separate these two.

    In layman’s terms: “(in writing) Hi, I’m signer. I have a problem, can you treat me? (being passive)” or making an appointment with receptionist – “Hello, I’m signer. I have some health issue and would like to see a doctor about it. Can you please also get me a sign language interpreter? Thanks!” Which will get me the service faster?


    C –

    Your husband is very lucky! As for HMO’s, I admit. I didn’t think about contacting them and see if they can help. Thanks!!! I will check with my HMO first thing tomorrow! Thanks for the tip! :-)

  14. Deaf Lawyer

    I don’t know what you fear most about but I can tell you, based on my experience, our daughter never played a role as an interpreter in the doctor’s office. We had an Indian doctor (from India), can’t speak clear English and writes very sloppy. What did I do? Got a nurse to tell us what the doctor said. And, guess what? Many hearing people have the same problem with the Indian doctors. So, what’s your point, Sean?

    I do not see you halping anyone with the issues you presented. Sound like you’re crying for help, inside of yourself.

  15. Sean

    Deaf Lawyer –

    I believe you may be missing the point. It’s not the issue about communicating with the doctors using paper and pen. It’s whether if I should require all medical practitioners to provide me interpreters no matter how trivial or major issues I bring in or I should continue to settle with writing back n forth with the doctors? It is more about my rights as an individual.

    I’m miffed that none of the doctors are really that talkative when it comes into writing back n forth. Most of the time, I feel the writing part makes the doctor fill me in the information, as it’s in good enough. In contrast, when I use the interpreter, the doctor actually blabs so much! They present more information. They also even offer options in treatment plans. They are really talkative. The hearing patients know more than deaf patients. When it comes to writing part, I believe there are about one-third of the information is being present. What I want; is the way the doctors talk to their patients, they should talk to me in the same way! If the doctors write down as much as they talk through their tongue, I wouldn’t even bring this issue up. Too bad, none of the doctors are willing to do so. Most deaf patients are really passive when it comes to doctors. It’s part of grassroots in our culture.

    Again, this discussion talks about should I request the interpreters to all medical practitioners in no matter what? In this way, I’d be giving a good example to all doctors that we, deaf patients (signers) do need interpreters regardless how much capable we communicate using writing on paper and pen. Should I fight against the ‘system’ while I have my personal needs to worry about? It’s really a difficult assessment!

  16. Deaf Pixie


    Many deaf and hearing people doesnt familiar about HIPAA. You can looking up through google. You can type HIPAA or HIPPA .. Two different.

    One problem ADA say Interpreter have a qualifity mean that Doctor can hire bad intepreter from Foregin Language Service and wont contact Deaf interpreter agencies in your hometown. It is very confused.

    The Three forgien language service in Seattle hired by doctor. They dont care about if you recieved unahppy.. Walk out and tell reschedule and expalined to office manager. That’s what I always.. But Fight alot!

    Yeah, I recieved wrong medicine few of incident and fight and arguement with forgeien interpreter to get out of examine room. The doctor stunned after I caught .. Interpreter gulped. I called forgien language Dont send interpreter to my doctor office ever again! I was blew up! Crazy..
    The interpreter is not have a certificate interpreter .. I blame on ADA law confused doctor. I know no body recongized the interpeter. I caught it fast. My husband stunned and cannot understand ADA say ok to hire bad interpeter. I am stuck with ADA.
    I found out Forgien Language Service doesnt have a liablity insurance. Deaf interpreger agecies require to have carried liabiity insurance than sorry. I trust deaf agencies number one!

    Inculding one medical clinic revenaged me to pick and refused to transfer my medical records to sent to outside medical records has not been sent for three years I filled out medical records requested. Copy it before you sent to medical clinic. I recommend all of you.

    My husband confused after he picked medical records of mine. we recieved harrassed a call from our former medical clinic for three years.
    It has been hell by office manager. Bad news there is running out of 190 days of ADA or Human Civil Right!
    He pissed off.

    one of therpist told Chris that I was right about HIPAA violated by office manager and harrassement us for three years. I told office manager I am not going to pick it up unless you send entired medical records. It is been hell. That’s why he pissed off

    Feel free to email me for any question at DeafPixie@gmail.com

  17. cuong aka buzz


    first of all, please accept my apology first if i am implying you about something that you are selfish. i beg to differ and always consider you as being great person to your family and great leader to njad at same time. you are modest.

    to answer your question for solution: “You are thinking as an activist. I need you here to go everywhere I go. 😉 But seriously, what should I do as an activist for Deaf Rights for the community and my personal needs? It’s not easy. Like Lucky (one of the commenter) said, advocates needs advocates. :-)”

    in my opinion, i believe that you work hard to spread yourself too thin as being both activist and family with full time to work in order to put bread on table, etc…

    i don’t know much about your system to advocate in new jersey. just my 2 cents suggestion for our both solutions by comparing our notes on list between minnesota and new jersey. we will see what ours and yours can do to help advocating our deaf community in our different states.

    mine = yours
    madc = njad
    nad = nad
    dhhsd (deaf and hard of hearing services division) = ? (same as yours?)
    mcdhh (mn commission serving deaf and hard of hearing people) = ? (do you have one?)
    MN Hospital Consortium = ? (do you have one?)

    i don’t need to explain you about madc & nad since you already know. i will tell you about why three important things help to us at madc. you can figure out the rest on your own system for njad.

    1). dhhsd’s budget is key for finance to project something that can advocates the deaf, hard of hearing & deafblind’s needs in professional level with wages. i want to clarify that dhhsd can’t lobby at the capitol for passing the bills on behalf of madc against dhhsd’s policy. dhhsd’s budget did help two important thing to start up A). the mcdhh and did contract with a person who does the project call B). minnesota hospital consortium.

    A). mcdhh: we already have madc in first place for many years then why do we need mcdhh for. our leaders at madc are volunteers to advocate plus juggle their full-time job and quality time to spend with family, etc… mcdhh has three staffs to get paid for doing the job to lobby at the capital for passing many bills. just check mcdhh at http://www.mncdhh.com/2007_Legislation.html for more information. of course, mcdhh still need madc’s voice to lobby at the capital.

    B). a contract with a person who does emergency statewide sign language interpreter advocacy and training project. this person did help to set up the minnesota hospital consortium for er and urgent care. fyi, for either er or urgent care equally, i can get a interpreter in our metro city for 1 hour or less at 80% and 2 hours or less at 100%.

    plus, if any hospital doesn’t provide me an interpreter or come up with any lame exuse like not available that hospital claim. i just contact that person then she took action quickly to help me out with how to file a complaint properly to three place against the hospital without hassles.
    1). DOJ,
    2). human rights
    3). minnesota disability law
    now i already have the lawyer on my side to work on the case against the hospital. i can’t tell you the details.

    if you have any question then please feel free to contact me at e-mail and can chat on vp about the rights and needs. you can ask tayler at deafread has my e-mail address. i don’t want to give out my e-mail address on this public blogs unless you can see my private e-mail address hide in your blogs.

    wish you the best.


  18. Deaf Pixie

    Three clinic kicked us out of their medical office because of forgien intepreter agencies never show up their office. I said SCREW UP. They want cheaper interpreter.

    ASL interpreter is too expensive.. They prefer Forgien ASL intepreters from forgien agencies. I walked out few time. They dont want us come back their medical office. I said You violated HIPAA and ADA. Don’t screwed us up again!

    Many thanks for share with us about ADA Law is really confused you,too..

  19. anonymous Says:

    Have the State to pay for the interpreters when someone need help with the doctors.

    When you are making an appointment(s) with the doctor in advance and you call the state to request an interpreter for you. Sometimes the doctors won’t call and request interpreter because they are being defensive.

    Also, call your health insurance to see if they can help you with paying for the interpreters or reimbursements.

    Wish you the best of luck. The ADA Law seems to be very weak and need to work on that to be successful!

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