The Ottawa Deaf Health Care Team is located in Ottawa, Canada in unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin Anishinabek territory.
The Ottawa Deaf Health Care Team (ODHCT) supports Deaf, hard of hearing, deaf, Deafblind, deafened and Deaf with multiple disabilities in various health care services whether it be acute care; psychiatric care; emergency care; long term care; cancer treatments or palliative and end of life care in hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, retirement homes, medical clinics and private homes. When requested the Team assists in dealing with appointments, meetings and understanding information.
The majority of people the Team supports is the culturally Deaf community. Deaf (upper case “D”) refers to those whose main language is American Sign Language (ASL), or Langue des signes quebecois (LSQ) or an Indigenous sign language. The Team is comprised of both hearing and Deaf members and is led by two trained and experienced co-leads, Monica Elaine Campbell and Christine Wilson.
Accessing the health care system can be difficult for the Deaf community. The Team paves the way for breaking down communication, cultural and institutional barriers that limit Deaf persons’ access to services by:
- assisting them in navigating the health care system
- advocating for them and their families such as asserting their rights to full access to services, assisting with the request for qualified ASL or LSQ interpreting services, etc.
- providing transportation and accompanying them to their appointments or to ER
- providing emotional support and assisting them to better understand the medical information such as diagnoses, recommended treatments, etc.
- educating health care professionals about the access needs; thereby, helping them to more fully understand the barriers the patients face and be better able to serve their needs
- In palliative and end of life support work, having volunteers trained in the Hospice Care Ottawa (HCO) course ensures a readiness to serve the community when a member of the community wishes to access services.
The Ottawa Deaf Health Care Team is not a registered charity and cannot issue charitable receipts. However, a number of individuals and groups have donated money to us, in order to further our work. Donations are used for registrations for conferences, workshops and presentations as well as educational materials such as printed copies of our posters and the production of videos.
Heartfelt thanks are extended to all who donate to our work.
The Ottawa Deaf Health Care Team has received funding from St Rene Goupil Ottawa Catholic Deaf Community and the Ottawa Deaf Centre Legacy Fund through Hospice Care Ottawa and the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (via the Ottawa Community Foundation) to provide interpretation for workshops, conferences and the training program at Hospice Care Ottawa as well as the production of the song The Meeting of Our Hearts and the conference presentation Doing It Right Every Time – Accessible Services to the Deaf in Acute Care and Palliative Care.
For information contact:
Monica Elaine Campbell firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Wilson email@example.com
Don Simonds was a long time volunteer and a beloved and well respected member of the Ottawa Deaf community. Through his volunteer work as well as personal acts of support and outreach, he exemplified compassion, commitment and humanitarianism. He died at the age of 92. It was his dream to have culturally Deaf-friendly Long Term Care (LTC) services in Ottawa to serve eastern Ontario and we are working to achieve that dream. When a group of Deaf and Deafblind residents are served together, the quality of life is enhanced by the multiplying effect of volunteers, visitors and staff who can sign. This will benefit families and friends and allow for “continuation of community” for all. It will provide a quality of life that cannot be equaled when you are the sole Deaf person in a facility, which is very isolating and lonely. To find out more about Don’s dream for long term care, click here.