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Academics develop sign language translations of Coronavirus screening questions in Malaysia

A female signing Malaysia Sign Language

Academics from Monash University Malaysia have developed sign language translations of Coronavirus screening questions after being inspired by the story of a COVID infected patient with a hearing disability.

Uma Devi Palanisamy is an associate professor, researchers, and students to translate the Coronavirus screening questions into Malaysian Sign Language.

She said the Coronavirus screening process could be a daunting affair for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, as many of them lack accessible healthcare information due to communication barriers.

“The Coronavirus screening process may be isolating and intimidating for patients with hearing disabilities as they lack accessible Covid-19 healthcare information.

“Hence, this free-resource tool will ensure that these individuals have equitable access to Covid-19 screening measures in a meaningful and timely manner.”

The translations, which cover symptoms, travel history, prior participation in large gatherings, and contact tracing, are available as a free-resource tool on Monash University Malaysia’s website.

The project was part of the university’s HEARD (HEAlthcaRe needs of the Deaf) programme, aiming to improve communication between healthcare personnel and individuals with hearing disabilities.

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