Laura Hignett is deaf and pregnant. For the next few months, Laura will be sharing her diary entries and her experiences with us as she prepares for the birth of her first child . This week, Laura talks about booking ante-natal appointments.
14 Weeks to go
Last week I wrote about my experience of going along to my antenatal appointments.
This week I have come across something that’s infuriated me – I have discovered that the process of booking antenatal classes is not accessible for deaf mothers to be.
I am meant to attend three appointments which are to prepare me for the birth. I said to the midwife ‘I cannot call up to make the appointments, is there an online booking system instead or a text messaging service?’
Their response was to ask my partner to do it on my behalf!
I highlighted that I should be given the opportunity to book it myself and not having to rely on my partner constantly. It takes away your independence when you rely on people all the time.
So I went home feeling annoyed about how inaccessible organisations like the NHS really are. You only have to look at the newspapers – last week it was reported a deaf couple were denied the right to an interpreter during the birth of their child.
Why is it that organisations are getting away with not providing for deaf and hard of hearing people? More needs to be done and when discovering about how I can make a complaint about booking antenatal classes I came across this link online – making health information more accessible: www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/patients/accessibleinfo-2/
This is a great opportunity for deaf and hard of hearing people to highlight the need to make information more accessible.
See you next week
Laura is profoundly deaf, has worked as a press officer for the government and is freelance journalist. She is sharing with us her experiences of becoming a deaf parent for the first time and is campaigning for better accessibility for deaf people.
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