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COOKING UP A STORM

June 06, 2003 8:28 AM

DEAF people will be cooking up a storm in the kitchen thanks to a new scheme.

The Deafinitely Cooking resource has been developed by NHS Greater Glasgow, NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Health Scotland and Deaf Cancer Wise to educate deaf people about healthy eating.

Presented in a video and CD Rom format, the Deafinitely Cooking resource covers such topics as:

* healthy eating;

* food safety;

* shopping for healthy food;

* and includes healthy eating recipes.

Launched today (Thursday) at the SMG (STV) studios in Glasgow, the project is believed to be the first of its kind for deaf people in Scotland.

The new resource is launched on the same day Dr Mac Armstrong, Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, publishes his Annual Report in which he highlights the need to improve the health of Scotland's women and children and support healthier lifestyle changes.

The launch of Deafinitely Cooking will help take the healthy eating, healthy living message across to deaf people.

NHS Greater Glasgow Senior Health Promotion Officer, Fiona McGuire explained: "Through this initiative we hope to educate deaf people about healthy eating as one way of reducing the risk of cancer.

"The information currently available on healthy eating is not suitable for many deaf people whose first language is British Sign Language (BSL) not English."

Joy Farquharson, Senior Health Promotion Officer with NHS Greater Glasgow, said: "Although most deaf people have a good understanding of written English, some words just don't exist in BSL. For instance, there is no sign for 'portion' - it just simply doesn't exist in BSL. This means all the material produced encouraging the public to eat "five portions of fruit and veg per day" means nothing to the deaf community.

"That's why we decided to produce a video and interactive CD Rom in consultation with lay health professionals and other members of the deaf community.

"The video is in British Sign Language with subtitles and features a range of healthy eating information. The CD Rom is fully interactive and has been designed as an educational tool for deaf groups or for individuals wanting to find out more about healthy eating."

Carly Munro, Cancer Development Officer for Deaf Cancer Wise, said: "I am very pleased to announce the launch of the 'Deafinitely Cooking' video and CD pack.  It's believed to be the first of its kind in Scotland and has been made specifically for the deaf community to promote healthy eating, shopping and food safety.

"Reliance upon written language used in current health-related resources is often not appropriate for deaf people who use British Sign Language as their first or preferred language, and presents real barriers to developing their knowledge and understanding of key health issues. 

"Deaf people clearly have the right to be well informed and to have equal access to health-related information as their hearing counterparts.  The Deafinitely Cooking pack represents a significant breakthrough in overcoming this barrier. "

Deaf groups or individuals wanting to find out more about Deafinitely Cooking should contact Carly Munro, Deaf Cancer Wise, Textphone: 0141 420 2808 or email: [email protected]

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

There are about 70,000 profoundly deaf sign language users living in the UK - 7000 of whom live in Scotland and an estimated 1500 in Glasgow.  One in seven people in the UK has some type of hearing loss, including profoundly deaf people, severely deaf people, deafened people, hard of hearing people and those who have mild hearing loss.

Deaf Cancer Wise is a partnership between NHS Greater Glasgow, NHS Lanarkshire and Deaf Connections. It's funded through the Scottish Executive's New Opportunities Fund.

Deaf Connections is one of the oldest charities in Scotland, established in 1822.  It provides a range of specialist services for deaf people in the West of Scotland including:

* communications  (sign language courses, deaf awareness courses, lipreading courses);

* community development (youth services, recreational and leisure activities);

* community care (residential home for older Deaf and deafblind people, Support workers);

* training (IT, School British Sign Language project, lifelong learning)

* and health (Deaf Cancer Wise).

The organisation also provides communication services, including sign language interpreters, lipreaders and notetakers.

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