MEDISIGNS (2010-2012) represents a ground-breaking initiative that focuses on providing language and communication skills to Deaf people, interpreters and those in the medical profession. Sometimes it is not possible to get an interpreter in a healthcare setting, often leaving a Deaf person or the healthcare provider in a situation which potentially compromises the level of patient care being delivered. Potentially, this forces a Deaf patient to either wait until an interpreter becomes available, or rely on a family or friend to casually interpret on their behalf. This is not ideal especially in medial situations that are sensitive, confidential or private in nature. From the perspective of a Deaf community and the project consortium, it is important to note that the provision of qualified interpreters, and especially those trained in healthcare aspects, is not viewed as a luxury but as a fundamental human right to the access and provision of appropriate healthcare.
Products addressing this need have been developed before, however they have been largely produced to serve a single geographic market and a single user group. MEDISIGNS has been rolled out in 5 countries and targets 3 distinct user groups in Ireland, Cyprus, Poland, Sweden and the UK.
European training materials and CPD courses do not exist in Europe and there is an increasing need to provide further training of interpreters who practice in a healthcare context. Furthermore, a major element of the course focuses on providing essential information on Deaf culture and awareness to the medical profession to facilitate better communications in the triadic exchange between healthcare professional – interpreter – Deaf patient.
- On‐line course on medical interpreting with content in 5 countries, 4 spoken languages and 5 signed languages carrying 10 ECTS for interpreters;
- iPhone App (available from January 2013)
- A European report on Deaf healthcare provision;
- An information pack for the medical profession with guidelines on treating sign language users;
- Master class sessions;
- Project information leaflets and posters;
- Workshops for medical professionals providing them with a better understanding of what they need to know when working with Deaf patients and interpreters;
- Workshops for Deaf people to inform them on issues that arise in medical encounters and tips on how to get the best from interpreted medical encounters.
- A guide to better communication in healthcare encounters;
- Qualified Interpreters in each partner country;
- Deaf patients and sign language users;
- Medical professionals/trainers/educators and healthcare service providers.
- Centre for Deaf Studies, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
- University of Nicosia, Cyprus
- The Foundation for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship, Lodz, Poland
- Stockholm University, Sweden
- Heriot-Watt University, Scotland, UK