GPs and other health professionals now have a series of health information videos in New Zealand Sign Language to assist in their consultations with people who are Deaf and hard of hearing.
The series is launching today to enable the Deaf and hard of hearing community to access critical health information. The videos can be found, alongside English transcripts, on the Health Navigator NZ website.
This is the first time common health conditions have been explained in detail in New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), which is one of three official languages in New Zealand alongside te reo Māori and English.
Released to coincide with New Zealand Sign Language Week, which runs from 9-15 May, the series reflects the week’s theme this year: NZSL is Essential.
The videos were made with funding from NZ Lotteries and spearheaded by Platform|Atamira Trust’s Deaf Mental Health and Addictions Programme Manager Jo Witko in partnership with Health Navigator and Deafradio, which undertook the translation process and development of the videos.
“Access to this critical health information has been a long time coming, considering NZSL has been an official language since 2006.
There is a lot more work to do in this area to ensure equity of access to health information and services for Deaf people,” Ms Witko says.
There are 42 new videos covering seven essential health topics and each is a few minutes long:
- chest pain
- heart disease