‘The greatest benefit for the largest number of Deaf patients is the routine provision of sign language interpreter support for all who desires it’. (Reeves and Kokoruwe 2005)
Hear Me (formerly known as ‘On Signing Terms’) provides information to assist and support health care practitioners caring for Deaf patients and patients with significant hearing loss (SHL), particularly in palliative care contexts. Published October 2016.
The Census 2011 has recorded that 2% of the Irish population, 92,060, are deaf or hard of hearing (CSO 2012). There are two distinct groups, those who are hard of hearing, or have acquired hearing loss (AHL) and those who are Deaf. There is a limited but important body of research regarding health care provision for Deaf people, although very little of this has focused on end-of-life or palliative care specifically. Deaf people can experience difficulties within health care systems that are not only related to language but also due to long-standing misconceptions. In the Palliative Care setting the type of information that needs to be conveyed can be difficult. Many patients wish to know about their diagnosis or prognosis, however, others may prefer to negotiate a gradual disclosure of information. This can be more difficult when communication is via an Interpreter.
On Signing Terms: matters of life and death for Deaf persons built on a previous project, Interpreters in Palliative Care: ‘On Speaking Terms- Matters of Life and Death’, which aimed to improve the quality of palliative care delivered to people with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) by improving the communication skills and cultural competence of health care providers in palliative care working with interpreters and by supporting the interpreters who work in a palliative care context.
Hear Me app provides guidelines and information to health care professionals on best practice when caring for Deaf patients, patients with significant hearing loss, and deafblind patients. It clearly outlines the key steps when booking interpretive services across a number of patient groups and lists the contact details for national support networks and service providers.
While the app focuses on supporting care provision for Deaf patients within a palliative care environment, the information is relevant for all health care settings and environments.
- Good practice guidelines for person-centred care of Deaf patients and patients who have significant hearing loss (SHL).
- Guidelines for the use of interpreter services, including Irish Sign Language (ISL) interpreters.
- Information on palliative care.
- Links to further resources including in-app GPS directions and contact details to all listed Palliative Care services in Ireland.
Available to download FREE from App Store (Apple) and Google Play Store (Android). Click links below: