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Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training
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Reasonable Adjustments for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Healthcare Students

The healthcare field is sometimes seen as inaccessible for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. However, there are a number of technological and practical adjustments that can overcome issues of listening and communication.

Some of these things are just simple and practical and include:

  • Safenclear face masks allow the Deaf or hard of hearing doctor/student to communicate.
  • Eko Duo Stethoscopes were developed to make more accurate measurements and ensure better diagnosis. Through Bluetooth technology, it can be connected to cochlear implants and hearing aids. It also has an App so that rhythms can be seen and recorded, which is great for medical professionals who may not benefit from cochlear implants or hearing aids. 
  • Microsoft HoloLens is a fascinating piece of technology. If a student is receiving instruction and needs to keep their eye on the job during delicate procedures, they wear a headset over their eyes. The teaching person instructs and at the same time captions are sent to the HoloLens so the student can keep their eye on the job and not look away. Apparently, a sign language interpreter can also be received through the HoloLens.
  • Sterilised video screens in some cases, can be hooked up in a surgical theatre and set up so medical students can receive interpreting and captioning while watching procedures. It receives a direct feed from the teaching surgeons microphone allowing the student to receive either sign language interpreters or captioning without a need for an interpreter or captioner to actually be in the theatre.

Sometimes Deaf and hard of hearing workers need to be contacted urgently so that they can provide assistance and support for a variety of health care circumstances. There are visual alerts such as flashing lights attached to work stations or vibrating alerts like pagers that sometimes can be beneficial. 

For advice and assistance on assistive technology contact Word of Mouth Technology 

JobAccess Employment Assistance Fund can arrange a workplace assessment to identify adjustments to suit individual and organisational needs.