If Spiros Dimoulis feels ill, he thinks twice about going to the doctor. He just ‘gets on with it’ and hopes his symptoms will go away. That’s because Spiros is deaf and uses British Sign Language. When he visits the GP, his communication needs are not met.
In a video for SignHealth, Spiros explains how he once asked a receptionist to book a BSL interpreter only to find that there was no one available when he arrived at his appointment. Spiros and the doctor had to rely on passing written notes between them, which was far from ideal for Spiros.
“The things I find hard is relying on notes being passed back and forth’ he says ‘I only get basic information about my health. I can’t explain my symptoms and any jargon the doctor uses goes straight over my head.”
Spiros realized that neither the doctor nor the receptionist knew how to book an interpreter, a situation he hopes will improve now that the Accessible Information Standard is law.
“Bad access doesn’t just affect deaf people physically, it affects our mental health too. I want to be given more options and information so I have a clear understanding of my health.”
“The Standard explains processes and ensures information is accessible. That gives me confidence in dealing with my doctor.”
Click on the green buttons below to see more information about the Accessible Information Standard.