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Communicating with Power


Edited By Cherian George

Communication is ubiquitous and information is abundant. Political and economic markets are more open than they have ever been. Yet, there is no escaping the fact that communication continues to flow across fields where power is distributed unevenly. This collection of articles analyzes and responds to asymmetries of power in a diversity of contexts. They are drawn from presentations at the 2016 Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, held in Fukuoka, Japan. The conference theme presented an opening for scholars from various disciplines and academic traditions to engage with the questions of power at different levels of analysis—from micro sites of power like a doctor’s consultation room, to the geopolitical arenas where nations wage war, make peace, and spy on one another. The resulting collection straddles different methodologies and styles, from survey research to essays. Leading scholars and junior researchers have combined to create a volume that reflects the breadth of communication scholarship and its contemporary concerns.

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Chapter Eight: Struggling to be Understood: Deaf Patients and the American Healthcare System (Min Liu / Valarie Shaw / Wai Hsien Cheah)


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Struggling TO Be Understood

Deaf Patients and the American Healthcare System


Healthcare professionals and organizations in the United States recognize the need to be sensitive to the needs of their patients coming from diverse backgrounds. In 2000, the Office of Minority Health published the first National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care (National CLAS Standards), which provided a framework for health care organizations to best serve their culturally and linguistically diverse patients and to advance health equity (Office of Minority Health 2000). Four of the fifteen standards are dedicated to communication and language assistance issues, including one that requires language assistance to be provided to individuals with limited English proficiency at no cost to them. The CLAS Standards were revised and expanded in 2013, with a focus on expanding its scope and increasing clarity (Office of Minority Health 2013). However, this commitment to culturally competent care does not always extend to the Deaf community. Another relevant item of legislation is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities by places of public accommodation, including healthcare providers (U.S. Department of Justice 2014). Under the ADA, healthcare providers have the obligation to provide Deaf patients with appropriate auxiliary aids and services to ensure that communication with them is as effective as communication with others. Though the culturally Deaf patient cohort...

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