For immediate release
Ottawa, March 6, 2012 – The Ottawa Hospital strives to give the highest-quality care to the people who need it. This means providing safe and appropriate care to all patients with improved access to the information they need. To this end, the hospital now offers several key portions of its website in signed languages.
In order to ensure that people with disabilities have appropriate access to health care services, The Ottawa Hospital has been very active in recent years in identifying barriers, removing barriers and preventing the creation of new barriers.
One of the innovative and exciting ways The Ottawa Hospital is leading the way is by providing several key portions of its website in American Sign Language (ASL) and la langue des signes québécoise (LSQ). With the help of The Canadian Hearing Society's translation services, our website welcome message, the Accessibility page and feedback form, visiting hours and guidelines, and an outline of Emergency Department wait times are now available in ASL and LSQ. The hospital is committed to adding to this list in future.
"For people in the Deaf community, a signed language can often be their preferred method of communication," said Helen Zipes, Clinical Director of The Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre and the Academic Family Health Team. "Providing individuals information in ASL and LSQ is one more way that The Ottawa Hospital is increasing patients' access to the information they need and helping them to more actively participate in their own health care."
"We applaud The Ottawa Hospital for being the first health care facility in the province with a website accessible with ASL and LSQ content. These are important first steps in providing equitable services to people who are Deaf or have a hearing loss," says Chris Kenopic, CHS President and CEO.
The Ottawa Hospital website can be viewed at www.ottawahospital.on.ca.