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  • Joanna Injore

Cancer support for D/deaf people

cancer support BSL British sign language cancer support deaf community

Deaf with a capital ‘D’ to refer to people who have been deaf all their lives, or since before they started to learn to talk and deaf with a lower case ‘d’ is used to describe or identify anyone who has a severe hearing problem (1)

1 in 5 adults is deaf or has hearing loss; which is about 12 million people in the UK. If you have cancer and are affected by hearing loss it can be even more challenging to communicate your needs (2)

Everyone has different communication preferences so having information about cancer different formats such as video, British Sign Language (BSL) or written booklets can be really helpful.

Resources about cancer

Below are a few different resources about cancer and treatment that you may find useful. Please have a look and share:

Communication tips for hearing people working with someone who is D/deaf

If you are a health care professional working with D/deaf patients the Royal National institute for Deaf People (RNID) have shared a few tips to improve communication:

  1. Get the person's attention before you start talking (you could try waving or gently tapping them on their arm)

  2. Remember everyone has individual communication needs so ask how best to communicate

  3. Re-phase questions rather than repeating

  4. Face the person you are speaking to

  5. Speak clearly and avoid shouting

  6. Ask if they would like to use an interpreter or a friend/family to be with them

  7. Write it down questions if they prefer

  8. Use text captions on video calls

  9. Reduce background noise

  10. Have good lighting which may help with people who lip read

There may be live speech-to-text apps or Video Relay Services for people who prefer using British Sign Language so explore the different options available.

What you find helpful? What would make communication easier for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

If you need cancer nutrition or diet support do get in touch.
I would be happy to explore supporting you which in a way that meets your communication needs- such as email advice, video calls with text captions or with a British Sign Language (BLS) interpreter.



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