Need To Know

Imagine this worst-case scenario. Someone you love needs to go to the hospital or otherwise be separated from you. Imagine, that this person can’t communicate.

  • Maybe they are too sick.
  • Maybe they are unable to speak.
  • Maybe they use a different way to talk.
  • Maybe they don’t speak the same language as the medical personnel.

What would you want people to know?

You can give the medical people important information about your loved one.

Complete the NEED TO KNOW paper and attach it to your loved one. Use a safety pin or clasp. Maybe put it in a plastic sheet protector. Make sure that it can be easily seen.

This NEED TO KNOW information can include information about health conditions, disabilities, assistive tools, lifestyle and more. You can let people know about how to make the person as comfortable as possible. You can help others communicate with this person.

Include your loved one as much as possible in the information included on the NEED TO KNOW paper.




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Kim Singleton

Kim is the Senior Director of TechOWL @ the Institute on Disabilities. In her previous life, Kim was a speech-language pathologist specializing in children and adults with complex communication needs, creatively enhancing lives with emerging technology. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, she received her Master's Degree in Speech Pathology from Miami University. She loves to sing and play.

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