10,000 More Voices celebrates Sign Language Week

10,000 More Voices celebrates Sign Language Week

To mark Sign Language Week (12 – 18 March 2018) the Public Health Agency (PHA) and the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) are highlighting what matters to deaf service users in their experiences of health and social care.

10,000 More Voices is a PHA initiative which gives people an opportunity to provide feedback on their experiences of accessing Health and Social Care services by asking them to ‘tell us their story’. The information received helps to highlight areas that require additional focus for improvement. 

The aim of British Sign Language Week is to raise awareness of the deaf community and provide a platform for deaf people to promote their language and culture. As part of the 10,000 More Voices Initiative a number of events have been held with deaf service users to highlight what matters in their experiences of health and social care.

Christine Armstrong, from 10,000 More Voices said: “To mark sign language week in Northern Ireland, we have worked with the British Deaf Association to develop information for HSC staff when providing care for deaf services users.

“We identified the following points as key when communicating:

  • Access to sign language interpreters at any time in any health and social care setting and for the duration of the experience.
  • Procedures/care plans explained in British or Irish sign language to ensure understanding.
  • Staff aware of deaf culture and sign language and knowledgeable about working with interpreters.
  • Staff who can adapt to deaf people’s various communication needs.
  • Not relying on staff, family members and children to act as interpreters.
  • Televisions with subtitles at all times in waiting areas.

“The information we have received has been very valuable and will help us to make improvements in how services are shaped and delivered. Due to the success of the previous events we have planned for further events to take place during May 2018.”

For further information see: www.10000morevoices.hscni.net