Medical Signbank Project
A perceived lack of Auslan vocabulary in the areas of health and medicine causing difficulties for deaf people and their interpreters in health care situations prompted the "Medical Signbank Project".
The aim of that project was to conduct linguistic research with Auslan users to improve information about Auslan signs and make this information accessible here in the Auslan Signbank site. Signbank allows the deaf community and Auslan interpreters to provide feedback on the signs they use.
The research program involved
- observing language use by deaf people and their interpreters in medical settings
- analysing information from focus groups discussing health related vocabulary
- conducting on-line surveys of deaf people, interpreters, and medical and health-care workers
- identifying existing health and medical signs in Auslan through the Medical Signbank sub-site
- identifying English health and medical terms that had no sign and creating a video explanation in Auslan in the Auslan Signbank site (deaf people and interpreters can search for these explanations just as if they were signs — one simply types in the English word and examines the matching entries in Signbank)
- collecting new sign vocabulary in health and medicine from deaf people and Auslan interpreters and displaying them in Signbank
- encouraging feedback on new and existing signs from Auslan users accessing Signbank
- reflecting community feedback in the way signs are displayed on Signbank