Graphic: The Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement

Maureen Fitzgerald

Audio transcript: On advocacy work with deaf women at the Berkeley Women's Health Collective
Date: June 22, 1999
Interviewer: David Landes

Note: Transcripts have been lightly edited; therefore there may be slight discrepancies with audio clips.

What we did was to teach people about patient's rights; we did a lot of education work. I had done a workshop for deaf women through my job there in patient's rights and we also—

Describe what that workshop did.

There was a publication put out called "The Patient's Bill of Rights" that had about twelve rights: patients have a right to see your medical chart, you have a right to be asked permission before procedures were done, you had a right to care, a right to respect. We would go over these rights with women and discuss scenarios that if this and this happened, you have a right to ask, to take notes, to bring someone with you. Part of what we did was offer the service of being advocate: if someone was having a problem with the medical provider, we would go and serve as an advocate for the person at the medical appointment. We would talk to the person beforehand about whether they wanted us to write notes or ask questions, or if there was a particular question that a person wanted answered to make sure that that got out during the appointment.

Was this workshop for deaf women at your initiative, or something that they were going to do and ask you to participate?

It was my initiative. I felt that I had connections with the deaf community by this time. I felt like information was something that was harder for deaf women to get.

End of transcript

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