The University of Wolverhampton is working with BID Services to help deaf and hard of hearing women navigate healthcare services during the menopause.
The collaborative project is being run by Sarah Bown, Senior Lecturer in Interpreting in the Faculty of Social Sciences, who is carrying out research into how deaf and hard of hearing women understand the menopause and looking at whether there are resources available to support them.
BID Services is a registered charity which works in partnership with children, young people and adults and their families and carers, supporting people who are deaf, hard of hearing, visually impaired or have a dual sensory loss.
The collaboration is creating opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing women in Birmingham and Solihull to give feedback on their experiences of accessing appropriate healthcare services and needs during the menopause.
Sarah Bown, Senior Lecturer in Interpreting: BSL/English at the University, said: “Concerns over deaf people’s health inequality are well documented and deaf people experience far greater difficulties in accessing/understanding health care services compared to hearing people.
“The menopause is an important time during a woman’s life, often requiring particular health care needs and professional understanding. This initiative will provide opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing women to share their experiences of accessing health care services and offer suggestions for where improvements could be made.”
Professor Laura Caulfield, Chair of the Institute for Community Research and Development at the University, said: “I am so pleased to see work taking place on this important issue. For too long women’s experiences of the menopause have been ignored and access to appropriate services has been – at best – challenging. Accessing services is likely to be even harder for deaf and hard of hearing women and I hope that this work will lead to real improvements in access to menopause health care services for them.”
There are two opportunities for women to give their feedback via Drop-In sessions being held at BID Services, The Deaf Cultural Centre, Ladywood Road, Birmingham, B16 8SZ. Wednesday 14th November 2018 between 6.00 pm and 7.30 pm and Friday 16th November at 1.30 pm until 3.00 pm.
Feedback can be shared in a forum alongside other deaf and hard of hearing women or privately one to one. Female interpreters will be present. Free tea and biscuits will be provided.
All feedback collected will be anonymous and the experiences will be used to look at the next steps to help improve access to menopause health care services for deaf and hard of hearing women.
Questionnaires are available at BID services for anyone not able to attend on the above dates.