Deaf and hard of hearing women in the Loddon Mallee region will now have access to critical sexual and reproductive health information thanks to a partnership between Women’s Health Loddon Mallee (WHLM) and Deaf Hub Bendigo (DHB). The two organisations have created a series of video resources on three key women’s health topics: breast care, cervical screening, and menopause. The videos, developed with support from City of Greater Bendigo and Breast Screen Victoria, will be launched on Tuesday, July 25th at the Deaf Hub in Eaglehawk.
“Hearing loss can have a significant impact on health and wellbeing outcomes for women,” said Tricia Currie, CEO of WHLM.
“We’re working with the Deaf Hub to break down barriers to health education and promote greater health equity for all women in the Loddon Mallee region.”
People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing can experience an increase in social isolation and related mental health issues. Physical health can also be impacted due to a lack of provision of vital health resources and information in Auslan.
The Deaf Hub is a strong advocate for equal access and recommends that Bendigo businesses and organisations embed Auslan via QR codes across all forms of information for consumers. This will empower Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities and ensure they feel respected and have equitable access to the resources they need.
“The Deaf community needs and deserves access to the same information everyone else gets,” said Elise Stewart CEO of Deaf Hub Bendigo.
“Deaf people often go unnoticed and their needs unmet as they go about their days in silence, excluded from most aspects of life. This is unfair, creates a sense of vulnerability which can lead to isolation, and at the extreme, manifests in mental illness and self-harm.”
This initiative is a crucial step towards providing equal access to health resources and information for Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities. Women’s Health Loddon Mallee and Deaf Hub Bendigo hope to continue to work in collaboration to support and facilitate the delivery of health resources and information to Deaf and hard of Hearing communities.