It was a privilege to be contacted by the Director of Deaf Education at the Deaf Federation of South Africa. She had read about Dot’s Deaf Awareness and BSL training sessions with GP surgery staff in Surrey. They think it is a wonderful initiative and are pleased to see that it has been well received.
As in the UK, in South Africa Deaf people are frequently misdiagnosed or have no idea what the medication they are taking is for. Frighteningly, anecdotal information in SA shows that there is a high incidence of not taking medication for conditions including HIV and TB in the Deaf community.
We were happy to share any insights and advice from our training experiences. We pack our sessions with practical advice for receptionists, nurses and GPs to help Deaf patients access health services. We also teach hands-on BSL so staff feel confident meeting, greeting and booking appointments and interpreters (which we stress Deaf patients are entitled to.)
Globally it is a vitally important issue to improve access for Deaf people to health services. For more information about our sessions for GP surgeries and hospitals in the UK: http://www.dotsignlanguage.co.uk/british-sign-language-trainers-nhs-providers/