Engaging with patients

The College of Dentistry is committed to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for our patients.  Below are resources to help provide exceptional service to patients who hold a variety of identities and characteristics. 

Culture Vision

  • Comprehensive, user-friendly database that gives healthcare professionals access to culturally competent patient care.
  • Provides research-based information about >70 populations based on ethnicity, religious groups, and other communities (e.g. individuals with disabilities, veterans, people from rural communities). 
  • Accessing CultureVision:  You may access CultureVision from any COD clinic desktop, via Axium-Links, and via the Hardin Library cultural competency resources page.

UI Library Cultural Competency Resources

  •  Cultural Competency Resources:  This webpage recommends a variety of books, journals, assessment tools, curriculum resources, and other resources. 
  • Anti-racism GuideThis guide is intended to provide general information about anti-oppression, racism, privilege, and inclusion, as well as information and resources for the social justice issues key to current dialogues within the University of Iowa community and beyond.


Quick Tips

UIHC offers a list of quick tips to help health care providers provide inclusive care to transgender patients.

The National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center

The center provides educational programs, and consultations to health care organizations with the goal of optimizing quality, cost-effective health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and all sexual and gender minority (LGBTQIA+) people. 

Deaf, deaf, or hard of hearing

Difference between "deaf," "Deaf, or "hard of hearing"

Explains the difference between “deaf,” “Deaf,” and “hard of hearing.”  Describes other words to avoid. 

Reducing communication barriers for deaf and hard of hearing patients

Non-technology and assistive technology recommendations for communicating with patients who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

Enhancing services for deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind patients

Describes effective ways to communicate with individuals who are Deaf, deaf or hard of hearing. 

10 tips for using a sign language interpreter

A sign language interpreter’s role is to facilitate communication between signed and spoken languages. Here are 10 tips on how to communicate through a sign language interpreter.

Limited English proficiency

Best practices for working with an interpreter

Guidelines for working effectively with an interpreter.

Appropriate use of medical interpreters

Tips for working with interpreters, how to avoid common mistakes, and the benefits of working with an interpreter.

Blind or vision impaired

Caring better for people who are blind or visually impaired

Tips for caring for patients who are blind or visually impaired.

ADA Checklist: Healthcare facilities and service providers

Practical solutions concerning access to care by patients who are blind, deaf-blind, or visually impaired.

Special health care needs

ASTDD: Children and Adolescents with special health care needs

Information for oral health providers, patients with special health care needs, and their care providers regarding dental treatment and preventive care.   

2-person wheelchair transfer

Directions for transferring a patient from a wheelchair to a dental chair. 

Improving access to care for people with disabilities

Resources that can help ensure that people with disabilities receive equal access to health care information and services.  

Low literacy skills or other reading challenges

Definition of health literacy

Healthy People 2030 addresses both personal health literacy and organizational health literacy. 

Health literacy universal precautions toolkit

The steps that practices take when they assume that all patients may have difficulty understanding health information and accessing health services.

CDC Clear Communication Index

The CDC Clear Communication Index is a research-based tool to help you develop and assess public communication materials.

Ask Me 3

Ask Me 3® encourages patients to ask their providers 3 specific questions to better understand their health conditions and what they need to do to stay healthy.