A hospital in America has refused to give a Deaf pregnant women an ASL interpreter during the birth of her child. Without an interpreter, pregnant Cheylla Silva (who is a high risk patient because she has high blood pressure) will not be able to make informed choices about her and her baby’s health.
Doctors at the hospital have tried to communicate with Silva by passing pen and paper across the table, but like BSL users, this is not acceptable communication because word order and grammar is different. ASL is her first language therefore she needs an ASL interpreter.
Silva explained to the Miami Herald that, “It’s not fair. They build ramps for people who have to use wheelchairs to get in. They don’t tell them they have to bring a ramp with them every time they come.”
Earlier this week we reported that a Deaf couple in America had their children taken away from them, and because of their deafness, no one explained to them that this would happen. In fact, the parents had no idea that anyone was worried about the children’s safety until the final meeting when it was decided they would be put into foster care.
Even in 2014, Deaf people are still experiencing severe inequalities, and SignHealth are Sick Of It. We are campaigning harder than ever to remove the barriers Deaf people encounter by approaching leading NHS figures and CCGs to raise awareness and encourage change. So far, with projects such as the Information Standard, it’s working. But the hard work doesn’t stop there.