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ERIC Number: EJ1129307
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Feb
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1568-4555
We Are Lost: Measuring the Accessibility of Signage in Public General Hospitals
Schuster, Michal; Elroy, Irit; Elmakais, Ido
Language Policy, v16 n1 p23-38 Feb 2017
Hospital signage is a critical element in the patients' and visitors understanding of directions, instructions and warnings in the facility. In multilingual environments organizations need to make sure that the information is accessible in the languages of the people who consume their services. As part of a large-scale study that examined the status of cultural competence in public hospitals in Israel (Elroy and Schuster 2016), we examined the signage in ten large hospitals. We developed an "accessibility index", a mathematical tool that quantifies the level of language accessibility of the hospital signage. According to the data, many geographical areas in the hospitals, as well as certain informational domains, appear in Hebrew only. A lack of clear and unified language policy regarding the nature and scope of multilingual signs in the healthcare system results in loss of critical information for people speaking the minority languages. The further one proceeds into the hospital, the less accessible it becomes. Moreover, certain sign types, such as behavior in emergencies, prohibition and information, are inaccessible for speakers of English, Arabic and Russian. The paper concludes with policy and practical recommendations that will help policy makers to apply linguistically accessible signage, thus enabling patients to orientate in the hospitals and make the best of their stay there.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A