A booklet designed to help emergency crews understand deaf patients is spreading across Australia’s Northern Territory. Created by the Darwin Quota club several years ago, the booklet contains basic sign language and tips for understanding hearing-impaired patients in trauma.
Thanks to Quota clubs, the booklet is finding its way into the hands of ambulance services, police and fire departments, and hospitals in Australia. The Ipswich club recently donated 150 copies to community services there.
Lyn Jaenke, Ipswich past club president, says the book is making a difference. “During the recent fire devastation in New South Wales, one ambulance officer had to evacuate a hearing-impaired person who he had a lot of trouble communicating with,” Lyn says. “The person was very reluctant to leave his blazing home because his dog was trapped inside. However, the ambulance driver couldn’t understand his request. Had this book been available, communication would have been improved and maybe the dog could have been saved—and the person less traumatized.”
The booklet is published by the Deafness Association of the Northern Territory, Australia.