terptree: Deaf Awareness Week - Sunday 13 May: Action on Hearing Loss Health Campaign

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Sunday, 13 May 2012

Deaf Awareness Week - Sunday 13 May: Action on Hearing Loss Health Campaign

To end what has been a fantastic Deaf Awareness Week for 2012, we decided to cover a story that would get you thinking about how deaf people access health services.
The following comes from Action on Hearing Loss:
“It’s great to receive appointment reminders by text – but I can’t make my appointment by text in the first place, and can’t hear well enough to do it by phone.”
“When my doctor looks down or away from me I can’t understand her as I need to be able to see her mouth to lipread!”
“My son should not have to translate personal information about my health – I’m sure there are registered British Sign Language interpreters available?”

What’s the problem?
We all use health services, whether it’s a local GP or pharmacy or the local hospital. We probably wish we didn’t have to go, but when we do, we expect to leave with clear information about our health condition and treatment.
But imagine what would happen if you had a problem booking an appointment, hearing your name being called, or understanding important information given by the receptionist, the nurse, pharmacist or doctor?
If you have a hearing loss yourself, you’re probably all too familiar with how frustrating this can be.
While there are some very supportive healthcare services out there, thousands of people with hearing loss still leave medical appointments having missed something.
Why is this issue important?
Barriers to accessing healthcare services aren’t just a source of irritation. The consequences of taking a medicine incorrectly or misunderstanding a diagnosis can be distressing and unsafe for the patient.
By law, health service providers must make reasonable adjustments so that people with hearing loss can access services in the same way as other patients, and that they must anticipate and promote these adjustments rather waiting for an accident to happen.
What will we be doing in Deaf Awareness Week, 7 to 13 May 2012?
With the help of our supporters and campaign partners, we’ll be raising awareness of this issue through the stories of people with all levels of hearing loss, including British Sign Language (BSL) users, and advising the people who manage, fund, and work in healthcare services about how to better support patients with hearing loss. There will soon be more information available about activities taking place in Deaf Awareness Week.
How can you help?
Request a Deaf Awareness Week pack with materials that you can take into your local healthcare services during Deaf Awareness Week to raise awareness of the ways they can support people with hearing loss.
Share your story or encourage friends and family to tell us about communication barriers they may have faced in a health setting. Email: stories@hearingloss.org.uk

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