Language services and accessibility
Kaiser Permanente offers help with communicating about your health care for people who speak limited or no English and people who have disabilities. If you need any of the following services, please contact us.
We provide professional interpreters who are trained in medical terminology in all languages. Our staff can recognize when an interpreter is needed, communicate this option, and make an interpreter available free of charge.
Interpreters are also available for people who have sight, speech, or hearing impairments or who speak limited English. We provide free professional sign language and tactile interpreters for people with speech and hearing disabilities.
Many of our health care providers speak more than one language. When you use Find a doctor to search for a doctor on our website, you can enter your preferred language to see a list of providers who speak it.
Video remote interpreter serviceOur video remote interpreter (VRI) system provides real-time visual access to sign language services through a secure web-based camera. VRI is available at all Kaiser Permanente Washington medical facilities, including urgent care.
Health care team members use VRI to connect quickly and securely to an off-site interpreter who helps patients, their companions, and health care team members with effective communication.
VRI does not replace in-person or phone interpreting. It is the backup tool when face-to-face interpretation is needed and an in-person interpreter isn’t available.
Printed materialsPrinted materials are available in translation, alternative formats, and braille translation upon request. In addition, the Kaiser Permanente resource line offers some health materials in languages other than English.
Kaiser Permanente addresses accessibility in accordance with state, local, and federal laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Assistive devicesWe provide basic auxiliary aids to help patients and their companions who need assistance with hearing, speaking, or seeing.
If you would like an assistive device during your visit, please tell our staff when you schedule an appointment, or ask at check-in when you arrive. Current options include:
- Capitol Hill Inpatient Unit assistive devices (PDF)
- CareClinic assistive devices (PDF)
- Outpatient assistive devices (PDF)
PhoneFor people who are hard of hearing, we work with Washington Relay Service and Idaho Relay Service to communicate with TTY machines.
WebsiteOur website is accessible for people with visual impairments.
Service animalsService animals may accompany patients in Kaiser Permanente facilities except when the animal is out of control, the owner cannot control the animal effectively, or the animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others.
If you believe that Kaiser Permanente has failed to provide these services or discriminated in another way based on race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity, you can file a complaint. Please call Member Services if you need help submitting a complaint. The Civil Rights Coordinator will be notified of all complaints related to discrimination, including Section 504 or ADA/disability.
You can also file a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, electronically through the Office for Civil Rights Complaint Portal at hhs.gov, or by mail or phone at:
Complaint forms are available at hhs.gov.
Review the non-discrimination notice.