Name of the activity: Breaking the Silence

Country/NMO: Slovenia (SloMSIC)

Program: Ethics & Human Rights in Health

Contact information: [email protected]

Type of the activity: Education. Education on health issues for specific societal groups, either in the form of projects (set of tasks for a certain group over a fixed period of time), events (something notable that happens) or conferences (form meeting about ideas related to a particular topic, usually over several days).

General description:

Our 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.

Objectives:

– Educating at least 50 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

– lectures about deaf community with basics of sign language for partner organizations and high school students.

Focus area:

Medical Ethics (Patient Centered Care, Good Medical Practice, direct doctor-patient relationship)

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. We have two main aims of the project, firstly, we want to raise awareness about exclusion and discrimination of deaf and hearing impaired people. econdly, we want to teach basics of sign language to medical students and general public.

Target groups:

General population, Medical students, Healthcare Students, People with disabilities

Beneficiaries:

Medical students, Healthcare Students, Youth, People with disabilities

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:

• Organizing sign language courses and workshops for the benefit of students and young doctors

• Introducing the project to younger generations with new ideas in order to improve and expand our work.

• Organizing lectures about sign language and deaf community, which are carried out by our activity members in high schools and partner organizations.

• International exchange, which serves as perfect opportunity to deepen our knowledge, get to know perspectives from other culture and widen our international horizon.

Methodology:

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.

This year we have started with new activity – we are going to educate interested students, so we will organize short lectures about sign language and deaf community for high school students and partner organization. That way our project would also contribute to general public views and opinions.

Plans for evaluation:

Our sign language classes have great attendance which shows the importance of its knowledge. Perpetuation of our work should also be seen later on in our life and employment.

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

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.