We’re a step nearer to improving Deaf Health today. A year from today doctors’ surgeries, hospitals and all adult services will have to comply with the Accessible Information Standard – by law.
So what does this mean for Deaf people?
It means that you can expect to go to an appointment with your doctor or at the hospital and communicate in a way that works for you. That might be email, SMS, or an online interpreting service like InterpreterNow (www.interpreternow.co.uk).
In the Sick of It report we found that while 8 out of 10 Deaf people want to communicate in BSL, only three out of ten are given the chance. The Accessible Information Standard should change this. From 1st July 2016, health professionals must provide you with an interpreter, if that’s what you say you prefer.
It also means that you won’t have to explain what you prefer every time you go to an appointment. Heath professionals must share information on how you like to communicate (with your permission). They should make a record of your requirements and make sure other staff know.
For too long, our health system has failed Deaf people. In a year’s time we can expect to see improvements that will hopefully make a huge difference to Deaf lives.
Our task now is to make sure health professionals know what is expected of them. That’s why SignHealth has launched the Healthier Together campaign. Together, we can make sure that health professionals know about the new rules – and that they stick to them.
So join us now and let’s be Healthier Together.