Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission to distribute communication kits

The Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is teaming up with Aging Partners of Lincoln.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is one of the best resources for people who need some help making communication a little easier, and that’s just what they plan to do with the communication kits they’re distributing to nursing facilities in the Lincoln area.

“Communication is extremely important because being deaf or hard of hearing cuts you off from communicating with people”, explains NCDHH Executive Director John Wyvill. “It’s very important to have an effective communication plan, especially when you have current emergent medical needs.”

That’s why NCDHH teamed up with Aging Partners of Lincoln to create the kits and send them to assisted living facilities. There’s a substantial number of Nebraska seniors who have some form of hearing loss and the various communication options included in the kits can help them get their messages across.

Advocacy Specialist Kim Davis says, “Hopefully that’s going to help the people that work with those residents who struggle with their hearing and understanding conversation.” She adds, “Hopefully this will make it more effective, and lessen the burden on both parties.”

The kits are filled with things like reference sheets detailing different forms of signing, dry erase boards for short notes, and charts to help get to the point quickly.

“When timing is of the essence and critical in nature, sometimes it’s very important to have communication cards like this”, Wyvill explains, pointing to the chart full of images showing various medical scenarios. “The nurse or the doctor can communicate with the patient by simply pointing here if the patient is nonverbal, or if there’s a communication barrier.”

These kits are designed to be all-inclusive, so in addition to having assistance for people who are deaf, there are also pieces of equipment for people experiencing hearing loss, like personal assisted listening devices that give them control.

“These are wonderful communication kits”, says Davis. “It respects the privacy of others, makes sure that there’s understanding and clarity of speech, and just really providing effective communication.”

In an emergency situation, they could be a real game-changer. In other scenarios, they could show people just a little of the help that’s open to them. The NCDHH website has much more information about the programs and services offered.

Categories: Nebraska News, News