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Sign language clips to help fight serious health conditions

8th November 2011

Deaf people from this month (November, 2011) onwards are being given access to important health information in British Sign Language (BSL) thanks to a partnership between SignHealth and NHS Choices.

Supported by Tesco Charity Trust, the healthcare charity for Deaf people has created the clips to give Deaf men and women access to information about cancers, diabetes and heart disease.

Steve Powell, Chief Executive of SignHealth, said: “We are targeting some of the nation’s biggest health-related killers and have produced the BSL video clips with NHS Choices, which were very kindly funded by a £10,000 grant from Tesco Charity Trust.

“For many Deaf people English is not their first language and health information often contains words and concepts that are complex and unfamiliar.”

However adept they are at lip reading, a Deaf person will rarely take in the full detail of a discussion.

Steve added: “This is the first time that Deaf sign language users will be able to access information on the NHS Choices website.

“We have covered topics on breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, lung cancer and prostate cancer in these first film clips. They have been launched on the video section of the NHS Choices website, www.nhs.uk* and will also be launched on our website, www.signhealth.org.uk.

“The five health areas were chosen because they affect a lot of people in the UK. NHS Choices produced the scripts for the topics and once these were agreed, Remark!, which is the largest Deaf-run and Deaf-led film company in the UK, did the filming.”

Remark! specialises in all aspects of television and video production, BSL, interpreting, training and translation.

Mark Nelson, Managing Director of Remark!, who is also Deaf, said: “I am delighted that Remark! was asked to make the NHS Choices video clips in BSL. We understand the importance of having easily accessible health information as it is key to making decisions and choices.

“The clips are a perfect example as so many Deaf people are missing out on vital health messages and this is a step in the right direction. We hope to see more NHS information being easily available to the Deaf community.”

SignHealth, which has its headquarters in Beaconsfield, provides health-related services and campaigns for fair access and improved communication for Deaf people.

Steve continued: “We are very frustrated by the lack of health information available in BSL, which is why we created these clips.

“This is just the start. There are many other health conditions we would like to cover in BSL information video clips when we have the resources. We would eventually like to see all health information routinely translated into BSL.

“We know from small scale studies that Deaf people have worse health than hearing people and we believe that the lack of accessible health information is a contributory factor.

“Working with NHS Choices means that GPs and other health staff can be confident in referring Deaf people to this information knowing that it is bona fide.”

The videos show an interactive conversation between two people giving information and advice on breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, lung cancer and prostate cancer.

Steve added: “We wanted to get away from the usual deaf person signing against a blue background to make it more interesting and interactive.”

SignHealth works with deaf groups, government departments and health organisations to promote change and improvement in healthcare for Deaf people.

The charity has a track record of delivering change in care and treatment and in providing supported living, advocacy, outreach, counselling and health promotion, all within a BSL supported environment.

Grace Vanterpool MBE, Consultant Nurse and Diabetes Service Manager for the NHS, said: “We are delighted SignHealth and NHS Choices have worked together to create these engaging video clips. It’s wonderful that Deaf people are now able to access information on diabetes and other serious health issues in BSL.

“The videos are excellent and I would recommend that all health professionals inform their patients about them.”

To find out more about SignHealth, which has its headquarters at Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, please call 01494 687600 or visit the website www.signhealth.org.uk.

 

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Comments

Mei M

Wednesday 9th November 2011 @ 10:19

Signing has helped my eczema baby to stop scratching :)


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