Intersectional and intermodal: Making sexual health information accessible to LGBTQ+ Deaf people

MORRIS, Martin and SAUNDERS, Darren and IANTAFFI, Alex (2017) Intersectional and intermodal: Making sexual health information accessible to LGBTQ+ Deaf people. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session 113 - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Users.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Intersectional and intermodal: Making sexual health information accessible to LGBTQ+ Deaf people

Introduction The Deaf community is culturally and linguistically distinct, with its own history and traditions. Within this framework, Deafness is viewed as a cultural difference and not a disability, and sign languages are a cornerstone of Deaf culture. Deaf people experience discrimination within hearing dominant culture, which often views Deaf culture, including sign languages, as inferior. This type of systemic discrimination is referred to as audism. LGBTQ+ Deaf Sexual health information Barriers to providing sexual health information to Deaf people are linguistic and systemic. Deaf people in general have a lower rate of literacy and have greater trust for visual information originating within the Deaf community. Most sexual health information originates in spoken language which is harder to disseminate to Deaf people who prefer sign languages — a language modality with a distinct structure and culture. The result is a lack of accessible information and higher prevalence of STIs. Deaf LGBTQ+ people are at the intersection between at least two cultures, each with its own cultural norms. In sexual health information these cultural norms may conflict — the greater levels of taboo which already around LGBTQ+ sexual practices are exacerbated with the need to represent these visually, for example. Further issues can arise when the information is supplied via an interpreter whose personal values may interfere. Conclusion In this presentation we will discuss the main cultural and intersectional challenges in designing sexual health information for LGBTQ+ Deaf people, and provide recommendations. We will support our suggestions with recent data from the US D-P@RK study with Deaf MSM, and with examples of good practice from the Coalition SIDA des sourds du Québec. The authors believe that this information will usefully inform the work of health information providers working with Deaf LGBTQ+ people.

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