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25 JunDeaf with Dementia

New DCAL Briefing Sheet available on dementia:

Deaf people in the British Sign Language (BSL) community have had a long struggle to access dementia diagnosis and support, with serious implications for quality of life and treatment.

Now, for the first time, a cognitive test for dementia has been developed for BSL users by researchers at the world-renowned Deafness, Cognition and Language (DCAL) Research Centre, based at University College London (UCL).

The BSL Cognitive Screening Test and BSL Test of Verbal Memory and Learning have been developed as part of the 2010-2012 Deaf with Dementia (DwD) project supported by the Alzheimer’s Society. The project is a partnership between the Universityof Manchester (as lead partner), the ESRC Deafness Cognition and Language (DCAL) Research Centre at University College London (UCL), City University London and the Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD). DCAL and DCAL associates based at City University London are responsible for the test development. This test is an important step towards the radical improvements needed to ensure timely medication and appropriate care for Deaf people living with dementia.

The Briefing Sheet from DCAL provides more detail on the factors that have made the assessment of Deaf BSL users a unique and often overlooked challenge, about the new assessment tests, about the Deaf with Dementia project, the wider context of dementia for the Deaf community and the need for research that will inform the understanding of neurological disorders in both D/deaf and hearing people and provide new insights into cognitive processing in general. “D/deaf” denotes those who are culturally deaf and those who are deaf.

DCAL hopes you will find this Briefing Sheet of interest.

Please feel free to share it more widely.

For further information you can contact DCAL’s lead researcher for the cognitive tests, Dr Joanna Atkinson: joanna.atkinson@ucl.ac.uk


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