Hear Me app
‘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. The Census 2016 recorded that 2.2% of the Irish population, 103,676, are deaf or hard of hearing. 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.
- 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.