Viewing the healthcare system through a deaf lens

I missed this very good Public Health Research and Practice perspective piece in December. It’s frustrating but not surprising that family are still being asked to interpret in healthcare settings.

Family members and friends of deaf people are regularly asked by healthcare providers to interpret for deaf patients’ medical appointments. Children of deaf adults, in particular, often carry this expectation. This ‘language brokering’ occurs when children take on the role of interpreting, translating and advocating for their parents.6 However, peak body Deaf Australia argues that family and friends are not equipped to interpret for deaf people during medical appointments and that this practice risks leaving patients and their family members or friends traumatised by the experience. Rather than interpreting, family members and friends, including children of deaf adults, should instead be available to provide practical or emotional support to the deaf person during healthcare appointments.7

— Read on

New Partnership Project seeking to develop a model of preventative healthcare for people with intellectual disability

The Minister today announced that our NHMRC Partnership Project led by Prof Julian Trolller on Developing a model of Preventative Healthcare for People with Intellectual Disability has been funded. It has an incredible team of Investigators and includes an impressive range of industry partners:

  • Agency for Clinical Innovation
  • Department of Health
  • Inclusion Australia
  • Aruma
  • Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care
  • Northcott
  • Down Syndrome Australia
  • Cancer Institute of New South Wales
  • NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
  • Achieve Australia
  • Western Victoria Primary Health Networ
  • National Disability Services
  • NSW Ageing and Disability Commission
  • Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network
  • Cancer Council
  • NSW Council for Intellectual Disability.

This project is exciting but I’m also conscious that it’s urgently needed because people with intellectual disabilities experience:

  • more than twice the rate of avoidable deaths
  • twice the rate of emergency department and hospital admissions
  • significantly lower rates of preventive healthcare, especially in primary health care.

I’m sure I’ll be posting more about this project in the coming years, but if you have ideas about relevant projects and activities I’d greatly appreciate hearing about them.