Deaf individuals who communicate using American Sign Language (ASL) are 3 times more likely to have diabetes than hearing people, yet experience challenges obtaining diabetes education due to a multitude of systematic barriers. One barrier is communication breakdown between the Deaf patient, an ASL interpreter, and clinician. Due to a lack of unified diabetes medical terms in ASL, confusion can occur when different ASL interpreters are used at diabetes appointments. In collaboration with an all-Deaf Community Advisory Board, a Certified Deaf Interpreter, Deaf health professionals, a universal access designer, and experts in Diabetes care, we co-designed an ASL Glossary of diabetes terms. The ASL Glossary confirmed, clarified, updated, and/or developed new signs and explanatory expansions during a 5-phase process. The ASL Glossary include 42 videos of diabetes terms and 28 explanatory expansions. New signs were developed for the term, ‘insulin’ to help distinguish insulin made within the body and exogenous insulin. A sign clarification was needed to establish the seriousness of prediabetes. The terms ‘diet’ and ‘fat’ were modified to be more politically correct. Technology, such as continuous glucose monitoring, insulin pumps, and smart pens required new signs and/or expansions. The ASL Glossary of diabetes terms addresses systemic barriers that exist in working with Deaf patients and research participants. The ASL Glossary of diabetes terms will support diabetes self-management education and support videos that are being created for the next phase of the Deaf Diabetes Can Together single-arm pilot study. Additionally, the ASL Glossary of diabetes terms will be used to support a future ASL interpreter training.


M.L.Litchman: None. N.A.Allen: Consultant; Diathrive Health, Dexcom, Inc. E.Iacob: None. N.A.Miller: None. M.Henderson: None. S.M.Canela: None. S.Lee: None.


Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (GBMF9048); Margolis Foundation

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