Gallaudet University Tests New Technology at CHSC

On Thursday, March 28th, Dr. Raja Kushalnagar professor and director of the Information Technology program in the School of Science, Technology, Accessibility, Mathematics, and Public Health at Gallaudet University, and Michaela Brandt, research assistant, visited the Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH) at Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center (CHSC) to test a new technology that is focused on promoting equity and inclusion in research and medical settings. The project, called CONSENT-ASL, is focused on improving the process of obtaining informed consent from people who are deaf and use American Sign Language (ASL) as their primary language. Because ASL and English are such different languages with unique word order and vocabulary, the process of obtaining consent can be challenging. It is difficult to assess true assent when an English form is utilized. With the CONSENT-ASL tool, consent forms are interpreted in a video format that allows the deaf individual to review the content, section by section, with the hearing provider or researcher on hand to answer questions in real time. At the visit to CHSC, Dr. Raja and Michaela provided a demonstration of CONSENT-ASL with an adapted form from CHSC to more than 10 members of our local deaf community. These individuals provided important feedback to Dr. Raja and Michaela that will enable them to improve CONSENT-ASL for deaf individuals with a greater diversity of language abilities.

Pictured (L-R): Todd Smith, Michael Rollins, Tim Skaggs, Michaela Brandt, Jennell Vick, Raja Kushalnager, and Bridgid Whitford