Name of the activity: Breaking the Silence

Country/NMO: Germany (bvmd)

Program: Dignified & Non-Discriminatory Healthcare

 

Contact information: [email protected]

Type of the activity: Education

 

General description:

“Breaking the Silence” is a project aiming to break down communication barriers between hearing impaired or deaf patients and their doctors. We offer training sessions and workshops that allow medical students and young professionals to develop an insight in the sign language community and also teach basic signs. Allowing medical professionals to develop communication skills will not only be beneficiary for hard of hearing and deaf patients, but for all patients.

Focus area:

Vulnerable or marginalized populations | Persons with disabilities

Problem statement:

In today’s German health care system deaf and hard of hearing patients do not always find themselves in an environment allowing them to communicate without barriers in their own language. Without a specific training for medical professionals, it is not ensured that hearing impaired patients get the medical attention needed.

Target groups and beneficiaries:

The project offers trainings, seminars and retreats for young medical professionals and students. Furthermore we organize public discussions and language courses, show films and try to implement lectures or training sessions in the medical curriculum. That way we try to reach all professionals working in this field.
Allowing medical professionals to develop communication skills will not only be beneficiary for hard of hearing and deaf patients, but for all patients.

Objectives and indicators of success:

– basic sign language knowledge for young medical professionals
– basic knowledge about culture and communication with hearing impaired patients
– raising awareness for specific communication necessity in the student community

Methodology:

– offer workshops at a variety of German medical faculties
– implement elective courses that run throughout the year
– raising awareness, by organizing public events
– establish local and regional project groups
– develop a leaflet with brief information and guidelines for medical practitioners
– develop a well organized structure within the project
– weekly publish the “sign of the week” raising awareness and teaching medical signs
– continued training for project members
– develop model for assuring workshop quality
– presence during bvmd Germany events

Plans for evaluation:

During the last year we developed an evaluation form, that is filled out by all students participating in workshops and training sessions. We ask to fill out this form three times, once before and after the session and a third time about half a year later.