Clear communication is essential to providing the best health care, which is our mission at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals. If you or your child has limited English proficiency, or if one of you is speech or hearing impaired, you can use our interpreting services. These free services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in multiple languages and dialects, including Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, Russian and American Sign Language.

Interpreting and translation services are available for face-to-face interactions, telephone calls and written materials. We work hard to be sensitive to the diverse cultural needs of our community, and our interpreter professionals are trained to understand and respect how various cultural beliefs may affect communication and compliance with medical treatments.

You may request these services at any time during your child's stay with us or when visiting one out of our clinics. To make the transfer and admission process easier, you may want to request an interpreter before coming to the hospital.

How to access interpreter services

San Francisco campus

Ask your doctor or nurse to contact us, and an interpreter will be provided at no cost to you. You can also reach us directly by calling (415) 353-2690.

Oakland campus

Call our office on a weekday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Call (510) 428-3885, and use extension 5292.

Special needs

If you or your child is hearing impaired, pay phone TTYs (teletypewriters) – also known as TDDs (telecommunications devices for the deaf) – are available throughout UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals. We also provide bedside TTYs, phone amplifiers and pocket talkers for patients. Hospital operators are available 24 hours a day by TTY. In San Francisco, call the TTY operator at (415) 885-3TTY. In Oakland, call the operator and ask for a TTY, or dial 711 from any hospital phone.

At the San Francisco campus, audiobooks are provided by Volunteer Services for visually impaired patients in the hospital. Call (415) 353-1196.