Breaking the Silence – Slovenia (SloMSIC)

Name of the activity: Breaking the Silence

Country/NMO: Slovenia (SloMSIC)

Program: Dignified & Non-Discriminatory Healthcare


Contact information: [email protected]

Type of the activity: Education


General description:

The project’s main activities are sign language classes. Our teacher and interpreter are the one who usually leads sign language classes, however, some of our students are capable of coping with the teacher position as well.
– Educating at least 200 students, who should know basic sign language by the end of the year with our workshops.
– Interacting with deaf people from The Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in order to practice our gained language skills and consequently strengthen our confidence in communication,
– International exchange carried out with our partners.

Focus area:

Vulnerable or marginalized populations | Persons with disabilities

Problem statement:

Breaking the Silence aims to establish a better way to interact and relate to the deaf/hard of hearing patient-doctor relationship where communicating is invariably challenging. It is a broad consensus that the difficulty, which doctors encounter when trying to obtain the history from the deaf patient, is virtually always present. Our intention is to shed light on problems which this certain marginal group faces on a daily basis.

Target groups and beneficiaries:

Hearing loss in its severe form affects an estimated 22.5 million Europeans. Hearing impairment often results in work-related difficulties, educational delays, social stigmas, exclusion from society and has a very high economic impact.
BTS target group are not only Medical students, but students from other faculties as well. Knowing sign language gives the ability to communicate with the deaf/hard of hearing people, who benefit from the project.

Objectives and indicators of success:

Our main goal is helping students to adapt a new conception of deaf/hard of hearing patient-doctor relationship, contingent on pleasant and smooth conversation. Furthermore, our intension is to shed some light on problems, which this certain marginal group faces on a daily basis.
We try to achieve our goals through:
– Organising sign language courses and workshops for the benefit of students and young doctors from which we would like to educate 200 students and obtain 2 new student interpreters,
– Organise sign language courses for 100 high school students with the intention of providing them with the basic knowledge,
– Carry out a one-week international exchange in order to exchange skills.


The sign language classes are our main activity. The workshops are made with basics information about sign language, but essential in the communication with the deaf/hard of hearing patient and last for 1,5 hour. We provide basic and advanced workshops. In addition, a great part of our project is an implementation of international exchange with our partner countries. Furthermore, international exchange is a great opportunity for international learning and understanding of an array of different cultural and community perspectives, achieving language acquisition through practical immersion and, last but not least, awareness and adoption of alternative, multi-faceted approaches to learning.

Plans for evaluation:

– Regular satisfaction surveys (pre- and post-evaluation),
– Interviews with the participants after an exchange,
– Collecting feedback from the attendees in order to improve the quality of our workshops,
– Obtain a feedback as well as new prepositions from newly educated student interpreters on the execution of sign language workshops.

During the exchange program of the project we continuously evaluated our work through different questionnaires that were given to students and others participants attending workshops of sign language. Other forms of evaluation were interviews and round table discussions.

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