The Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Losses or AMPHL, held its national conference April 5th – 7th in Austin, Texas. The theme for this conference was “Diversifying the Future: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Healthcare Professionals and Interpreters”. The conference brought together over 200 Deaf or hard of hearing individuals who work in the healthcare setting including, physicians, nurses, veterinarians, pharmacists, dentist, psychologist, interpreters , researchers and students. It was held on the beautiful Texas School for the Deaf campus which provided a perfect setting for the over 20 workshops, panel discussions, and presentations offered by this unique conference.
AMPHL strongly supports mentorship and provided a number of opportunities during this weekend for students to meet with professionals in their areas of interest. A select group of TSD high school students who were conference volunteers, were also provided mentoring by the Deaf professionals and students in healthcare program attendees of the conference. This was a rare and valuable opportunity for these students to interact with and be exposed to the presentations of these Deaf role models.
The 2013 AMPHL conference spanned two full days and three suggested tracks: practicing healthcare professionals, healthcare trainees, and healthcare interpreters. There were “All group” presentations, panel discussions, mentoring sessions, and individual interactive workshops (track specific). National and international presenters both Deaf/HOH and hearing included Nigel Howard DI; Rachel St. John, MD, NCC, NIC-A; Chris Moreland, MD MPH FACP; Richard Laurion, MA, CI & CT, NIC-A; Austin Andrews (Awti), CI, CT, NIC-M, BEI-Master; Laurie Swabey, PhD & Brenda Nicodemus, Phd to name a few. Among the topics presented were; an examination and comparison of medical discourse of common medical interview questions used by interpreters and deaf healthcare professionals, solutions for the Deaf health professional and the designated interpreter relationship, using personification to bring your medical interpretation to life, and a hearing physicians perspective on working with sign language interpreters in the Emergency Department. Participants attending these workshops were quite diverse and provided for valuable and varied perspective and discussion.
For those who attended AMPHL 2013 “Diversifying the Future: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Healthcare Professionals and Interpreters” we were given a glimpse of a time in the not so distant future where the national shortage of medical professionals can be met by Deaf and hard of hearing providers. Ann Arbor will host the next AMPHL conference in spring of 2015. We will keep you posted and hope you plan to attend.