A community forgotten: Deaf people in health care
Problems affecting Deaf people when they use health services designed for hearing people
- By: Vicki Mottram
There are several groups of people who, even in these fervent days of equal rights and political correctness, consider that their needs have not been addressed. One such group is the Deaf. There are around 8.7 million people in the United Kingdom who are deaf or hard of hearing.1 The lowercase d in deaf used to describe the physical impairment of being unable to hear most or all sound. This article focuses on the specific needs of those people who describe themselves as Deaf, where the capital D dicates membership of the Deaf community and the use of British Sign Language (BSL) as the first or preferred language. An estimated 50000 people in the United Kingdom use BSL as their preferred language.
As in every other section of society, Deaf people are individuals and have various opinions about their lack of hearing. Some deeply resent their deafness and welcome anything