Mind the gap, join forces! Let’s improve the health of deaf and hard of hearing people in the Netherlands

Anika Smeijers is a paediatrician specialised in social paediatrics and a sign language linguist. In 2019 she presented here dissertation ‘Availability and accessibility of healthcare for deaf and hard of hearing patients’. Anika has longstanding experience in (mental) healthcare for deaf and hard of hearing people and works as a consultant for DHH people at Centre for Consultation and Expertise (CCE). The CCE is is a supplementary service to standard healthcare services; should patients or their caregivers be no longer able to find solutions, they can apply to CCE for customized advice and support. As a member of Dovenschap (independent interest group for Deaf people in the Netherlands), Anika will lead this interactive session on how to improve the health of DHH in the Netherlands.

Deaf and hard of hearing people (DHH) experience poorer health due to reduced access to healthcare and health information. The Corona pandemic and the acknowledgement of Dutch sign language as an official language of the Netherlands made DHH healthcare issues more visible. Now it’s time to actually close the gap. During this workshop the Dutch participants will debate on how to do this.