Retreat Launches High-Tech Interpreter Service for Deaf & Hard of Hearing

The Brattleboro Retreat is pleased to offer a new high-tech interpreter service that is available to deaf and hearing impaired patients (both inpatient and outpatient) twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. This new technology will largely replace a less time sensitive system that had required hospital staff to schedule interpreters to visit the Retreat in person.

The new technology employs laptop computers that can be patched through a dedicated Skype connection linked to a live, online interpreter service (SignOn VRI, Inc.). Staff members and patients are then able to communicate with the help of a professional on-screen interpreter who can be both seen and heard.

“This new technology will be useful in a number of situations including the admissions process, during family sessions, and for outpatient therapy,” explained Gwynn Yandow, director of Social Work Services. “From a technological point of view, this is the state-of-the-art form of communication for clients who are deaf and hard of hearing.” 

According to Yandow, the Brattleboro Retreat expects to offer this service to up to 25 patients annually. “While the need for this kind of service fluctuates from month to month, it will most definitely enhance the convenience and quality of care we provide.”

“If a patient has a hearing disability, or any other challenge for that matter, we believe it is our responsibility to make sure they have access to the same level of treatment excellence that any other patient would have here at the Brattleboro Retreat,” said Vareen O’Keefe-Domaleski, senior vice president for Patient Care Services.