Queen's University BelfastAction on Hearing Loss The Higher Education Academy Medicine Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine


We are a group of medical educators who have successfully established a Student Selected Component in Deaf Awareness and British Sign Language (BSL) at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), in collaboration with RNID, now Action on Hearing Loss, Northern Ireland.

We have been funded by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) subject centre, Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine (Medev), to put together this package as a guide for other medical educators interested in setting up a similar course.  This resource brings together the knowledge and experience gained through running deaf awareness and BSL courses over several years. We hope these practical guidelines, hints and materials will provide you with enough resources to create your own Deaf Awareness course.

This project has lead to a number of other related initiatives. We are currently conducting an extensive survey of all medical schools in the UK and Ireland with regard to their provision of Deaf Awareness training. The results of this survey will be available late 2010. Alongside this, we are developing a range of additional learning resources for healthcare students in order to make deaf awareness training more widely available. These resources include videos of a deaf patient in different clinical situations and the video dictionary. At Queen's University Belfast we intend to link these resources with an existing Communication Skills course.

We would like to thank the RNID, now Action for Hearing Loss, for their collaboration and the students of the class of 2008/2009 for their contribution to these materials. In addition, the contributions made by Elizabeth, Sadie and Margaret were vital to the project's success.

Queen’s University Belfast and RNID NI, now Action on Hearing Loss, were awarded the 2010 Signature ‘Organisational Achievement’ Award for their Sign Language module delivered to second year medical students. Please see the Signature website for full details of the awards.

Please use the navigation on the left to explore the contents of this pack.

Dr Kieran McGlade and Prof Jayne Woodside