THE ROLE OF FACULTY OF MEDICINE IN RIJEKA IN DEVELOPING AND PROMOTING DEAF CULTURE: A FEW OLD EXPERIENCES AND A PROMISING RECENT INITIATIVE WITH DEAF EDUCATION
Keywords:deaf, education, Faculty of Medicine - Rijeka, Croatia
Starting from the tradition of research and rehabilitation of hearing and speech disorders in Croatia (SUVAG, Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences of the University of Zagreb), this article goes on to focus on recent initiatives aiming improving the education of deaf people at the Department of Social Sciences and Medical Humanities of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Rijeka.
The first traces of interest in deaf people at the Faculty of Medicine date back to the academic year 2002/2003, when Ivan Segota (1938-2011) started an elective course entitled How to Communicate with Deaf Patients. A round-table discussion Bioethical Aspects in Communication with Deaf Patients was organized in 2006, and 2007 saw the start of a scientific project with the financial support of the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports. In 2010, the textbook The Deaf and Medical Sign Language was published.
At the same time, the authorities at the Rijeka Faculty of Medicine became aware of the long-term importance and necessity of transforming the faculty under the slogan "Faculty of Medicine of the University of Rijeka – Friend of the Deaf". Collaboration has started with the American Rochester Institute of Technology, and the foundation of the National Center for the Higher Education of the Deaf and Hearing Impaired of the Republic of Croatia has been initiated.
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