The Deaf Nest project aims to implement clear pathways to seek ways to remove barriers and to explore ways to make adjustments that are both innovative and flexible to meet the needs of deaf families.
The project includes components designed to ensure dignity and address deaf couples’ needs in the journey of childbirth. One important component is the consultation group for deaf parents to make sure that the voice of deaf women and their families is heard. Integral to this is promoting deaf awareness for midwives by organising regular workshops, service users days and conferences. The main purpose of the midwife role in the project is to bring evidence-based, expertise knowledge to the program. Finally, project seeks to work in a collaboration with Software Engineering Department at the University of Salford to design a new software to transfer sound of fetal heartbeat to vision and vibrations.
The implementation of clear guidances, early assessment form, effective referral, deafness awareness study days and ‘Deaf Nest’ support packs will result in an improved deaf access to information, ongoing assessment of need, improved health and lifestyle choices and greater family involvement. The project is very cost effective and can be easy replicated across the UK as all resources will be made available for free on the website. By the end of 2014, this project aims to have gathered a wide range of learning innovations and resources that can be spread out more widely to improve quality of maternity care for deaf people.
Moreover, the project aims to improving deaf access to information by producing visual aids, leaflets, flash cards and videos for antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal education. These will contain basic up-to-date information specific to each stage of pregnancy, presented in British Sign Language. The deafnest.com website was created where all relevant information will be available for free for deaf people as well as health professionals