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Communications aids


At St. Jude, we want to communicate with you and your child as clearly as possible. If you, your child, or another family member has a disability that affects how you communicate, we want to help. We try to help you communicate as well as someone without a disability. This type of help is sometimes called providing “auxiliary aids” or “communication aids.”

We want you, your child, and other family members to have an equal chance to take part in services, activities, programs, and other benefits at St. Jude. This is still true if you are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or have other communication disabilities. “Other disabilities” includes challenges in sensing, feeling, or speaking normally.

If a disability affects communication

St. Jude provides services or items that make communication easier between a person who has a disability and a person who does not. The disability can be hearing, vision, or speech, but it is not limited to these. The services or items are available to make care at St. Jude easier for everyone. Our goal is clear communication with patients, parents, other caregivers, and companions.

Learning if you or your child needs help

St. Jude staff will talk with you about needed services or items. We want to learn when you need them, how long, and how often. St. Jude will ask you or your child questions about this.

St. Jude may or may not provide the service or item you request. Or we might provide another service or item. We will discuss these decisions with you and your child.

What services or support is available?

Support for people with deafness or impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills

Services and other items include the following.

  • Listening devices or systems, such as a Pocket Talker®
  • Audio recordings or taped text
  • Phone equipment, including:
    • Phones with a caption display, video display, or video text
    • Phones that work with hearing aids or have a device in the handset to make sounds louder
    • Text phone (TTY) 901-595-1040
  • American Sign Language interpreters
  • CART — Communication Access Real-time, also called Real-time Captioning
  • Note takers and written notes
  • Closed caption decoders and open and closed captioning

Support for people with blindness or vision problems

Services and items include the following.

  • Braille materials
  • Voice, text, and video-based products for “text to talk”
  • Patient and family information in large print
  • Computer software to make text larger on a screen or read text from a screen        
  • Apps that tell you what is on a computer or phone screen

The Linda R. Hajar Family Resource Center has a selection of Braille books for children and young readers. Many of these books can be offered in larger print for people with low vision.

Do I have to provide my own interpreter?

St. Jude does not require you to bring your own interpreter. Also, we usually will not use an adult who is with you. But we can use this person if you have a disability and:

  • You specifically ask us to use the adult with you as an interpreter,
  • They agree to be an interpreter, and
  • Using their help is appropriate, or
  • It is an emergency, and no qualified interpreter is available.

An emergency means someone’s safety or well-being is threatened right now.

Also, St. Jude will not use a person younger than 18 years old as an interpreter, unless there is an emergency and no qualified interpreter is available.

May I make my own recordings?

Not usually. At St. Jude, we can help you record information or get it in a form that is easy to use, based on what you or your child needs. But we must also protect you, your child, and all St. Jude patients and staff. This includes protecting their privacy and avoiding anything that could distract a staff member, including recording. So, you may not take pictures or make recordings of your child’s medical care except in specific situations. St. Jude must approve these situations ahead of time.

About specific situations

You may take pictures or make recordings to make sure St. Jude communicates well with you and your child. You may only do this if:

  • The St. Jude staff has approved the picture or recording ahead of time,
  • You follow any instructions or limits the St. Jude staff gave you,
  • You do it to communicate with a person who has a disability, and
  • You do it only to give that person an equal chance to take part in St. Jude activities, including services, programs, and other benefits at St. Jude.

Please remember that St. Jude can take back its approval of pictures or recordings at any time.

Important things to know

Patients, former patients, family members and guests are welcome to take still or motion recordings (photos and videos) of themselves or their children at St. Jude, as long as they do not capture care being given.  However, you may not use the photos or videos without specific permission from the people in them. These people include patients, former patients, family members, St. Jude staff, and guests. You may not take a picture or make a recording of any St. Jude staff member without their permission.

To learn more about when photos and recordings are OK, please read “Do You Know … Photographing, Videotaping, Streaming, Audiotaping.”


If you ever feel you need help with communication, please talk with your child’s care team. If you have questions, concerns, or feel your needs are not being met, call the patient relations coordinator at 901-595-3751.

You, your companions, or your legal representatives may file a grievance if you feel you have been discriminated against because of a disability. St. Jude will arrange for anyone with a disability to have needed communication aids and services during the grievance process. To discuss this, you may contact your care team or the following:

Patient Relations Coordinator
262 Danny Thomas Place, MS 282
Memphis, TN 38105-3678
Telephone: 901-585-3751
Fax: 1-901-595-5376



This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).