Community Advisory Group for provincial medical Sign language interpreting service established
Community Advisory Group Announcement - ASL Video
Earlier this year, PLS put out a call for applications to community advisor roles supporting Sign language interpretive services. We are excited to announce that the Community Advisory Group (CAG) for the Provincial Medical Sign Language Interpreting Service has been established.
This is the first CAG for the service established by PLS, a program of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). We look forward to working closely with this eight-member community advisory group to continually improve equitable access to health care services for deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing patients across British Columbia.
We would like to thank everyone who took the time to apply to become a member of the CAG. Sixteen applications from very qualified applicants representing diverse perspectives were received. After a comprehensive analysis of all the perspective presented by each candidate, the selection committee chose seven members based on the pre-set primary and secondary criteria. One spot is saved for Indigenous representation.
Primary criteria were:
- Geographic representation: ensuring we have representatives from Greater Vancouver, the Interior, Vancouver Island, and the North.
- Diversity in type of language support required: ensuring we have representatives who are deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing.
Secondary criteria were related to diversity of representatives related to the following categories:
- Indigenous ancestry
- Gender identity
- Urban/non-urban representation
- Deaf-plus representation: ensuring that we have representatives for as many of the listed categories.
The seven selected members provide the most diverse representation of perspectives based on the selection criteria and those who applied.
Members selected are:
- Craig MacLean (Deaf-blind/Lower Mainland)
- Dan Braun (Deaf/Lower Mainland)
- Gordon Rattray (Hard of hearing/Interior)
- Leanor Vlug (Deaf/Lower Mainland)
- Monika Lane (Deaf/Vancouver Island)
- Nancy Zavaglia (Deaf/North - Prince George)
- Sarah Taylor (Deaf/Lower Mainland)
The first meeting of the CAG will be held in November 2019. We look forward to this first inaugural meeting.
Selection Committee Members:
The members of the selection committee were recruited from within internal government resources based on their neutrality (had not applied to be on CAG) and their understanding of the health care system. Selection committee was made up of two deaf people and one hearing and signing person. The process was facilitated by a neutral, third-party stakeholder engagement firm, Delaney + Associates.
Our commitment to the deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing community
The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) is committed to providing top-quality interpreting services for deaf, hard-of-hearing and deaf-blind people who are accessing health care across BC.
We believe the Deaf community should be integrally involved in the delivery of interpreting services to improve equitable access, and we have been actively engaging with community members to better understand their current needs. Engagement work with the community is focused on future planning for a medical sign language service. We are seeking input about opportunities to innovate, redesign and improve this service within existing available resources.
In 2016 PHSA began reviewing interpreting services for the deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind people. Through the review process, we learned there is confusion around what medical services are covered and how these decisions are made. We also learned that the community wants to provide regular input so the service remains current, and we need to utilize a comprehensive approach to the model to ensure the service is delivered consistently across BC.
Engaging with Deaf Community to improve medical Sign language interpreting