This report should be enthusiastically welcomed by the Deaf community and everyone who works in healthcare. It’s the first time we’ve ever had such valuable information on the health of Deaf people. It really is long overdue. I hope this report makes us all think carefully about what we can each do to end the unfairness and injustice. The research makes it clear that there is a lot to learn, and plenty to do.
Andrew Deaf Patient
Most recent research by the Deaf Health Charity SignHealth
'Sick of it'
It’s much more common for doctors not to spot and diagnose health conditions in Deaf people. That includes problems which can lead to life-threatening illness. The research results suggest that many of the Deaf people who took part in the study should have been under monitoring or treatment for conditions which they didn’t even know they had.
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Deaf patients have been demoralised by years of neglect and poor treatment. Confidence in the medical profession is low. It needs to be developed with good communication, and new ways of accessing services.So, what can you do to help make the health service fairer for all? Take away and implement our Prescriptions For Change.
SignHealth 'Sick of it' Report
This research reveals a story of unintentional neglect, shortened lives and wasted money.
Our health service is making it difficult for Deaf people to get help, missing potentially life-threatening health conditions, and offering poor treatment when a diagnosis is made. It’s unfair and unjust.
Most recent evidence, research, resources and more...
Becoming Deaf Aware
Fingerspelling is the BSL alphabet. Certain words – usually names of people and places – are spelled out on fingers. However, fingerspelling alone is not sign language.
Learning British Sign Language
'My parents use sign language and they taught me as a baby. It’s such an expressive and impressive language that utilises not just your hands
but body language and facial expressions too. When people see that I can use sign language, they also want to learn it – and those who do learn fall in love with it just like I did.'
Learning British Sign Language resource produced by the Action on Hearing Loss
What is BSL? People who are deaf use various methods of communication, including speech and lipreading, but BSL is the most widely used method of signed communication in the UK. Some people use Sign Supported English (SSE), which is not a language in its own right, but more a type of English with signs. It’s hard to say how many people in the UK use BSL as their first or preferred language. Estimates vary from 50,000 to 70,000.
• Be open: tell the person you’re speaking to that you have a hearing loss.
• Ask people to get your attention before they start talking to you.
• Get a better view: stand
a reasonable distance from the person so you can see their face and lips. Gestures and facial expressions will help you understand what they’re saying.
• If necessary, ask people to slow down and speak more clearly.
Always ask: even if someone’s wearing a hearing aid, ask if they need to lipread you.
• Make sure you have the person’s attention before you start speaking.
• Find a place to talk that has good lighting, away from noise and distractions.
• Turn your face towards them so they can easily see your lip movements.
• Speak clearly, not too slowly, and use normal
lip movements, facial expressions and gestures.
Communication Tips produced by the Action on Hearling Loss
Being deaf aware is not difficult – but it is very important. Without knowing it, you might be excluding people who have a hearing loss or making their daily life more difficult. This section tells you what you can do to improve your communication skills and promote awareness about hearing loss.