Abstract: Usher syndrome is the most common cause of deafblindness worldwide and is estimated to affect between 3 and 6 people in every 100,000. Children are born with hearing loss and develop sight loss in their early years of life. A barrier to the involvement and participation of deafblind people in research is access to information in appropriate formats. The degree of sight and hearing impairment experienced by individuals is variable, so there is not a one size fits all solution. We held a research discussion group, that included five people with Usher syndrome, to consider people’s accessibility needs for an upcoming research project involving this condition.
We have identified a number of considerations for including deafblind people in conversations about research: i) using appropriately sized meeting rooms which offer control over lighting, layout and sound; ii) where appropriate, ensuring written/printed materials are high contrast (e.g. black text with a yellow background) and in large (18 point and above), sans-serif fonts (e.g. Arial); iii) identifying the relevant communication support for the individual whether that be sign language interpretation, lip reading, hearing loop, speech to text reporting or a combination; iv) ensuring that there is access to emotional support for both people who are deafblind and their families before, during and after the research.
The outcome of this work is a checklist of considerations when planning to hold a research conversation with someone who is deafblind and hinges on earlier interactions to identify the appropriate support needs for the individual.
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Categories: journal article researchers guidance/guidelines involving seldom heard groups staff in research organisations
Date Entered: 2018/11/30
Date Edited: 2018/11/30