Modern healthcare relies on people being given information and then making healthy choices, but Deaf people are just not being given the information they need.
Health information from the NHS and others should be routinely translated into sign language, to give Deaf people the same access to information as everyone else.
There also needs to be a national programme to make the important information which is already available to hearing people accessible to Deaf people too. It’s particularly important that Deaf people can find information when they want it, because unlike hearing people they don’t pick up information in passing from the radio and tv, or overheard conversations.
8 in 10 deaf people want to communicate using BSL but only 3 in 10 are given the chance
They often need to rely on someone else to translate it for them, such as a friend or family. This would be bad enough for any information, but for something as personal and important as health it is unacceptable.
Most hearing people would not be happy with having to ask a friend to explain what an information leaflet says.
Deaf people have poorer access to health services, information and effective communication in consultations.
The in-depth interviews showed that access to health information was poor, with clinicians often relying on written information.