RPRC:NCDHR is a Prevention Research Center (PRC) that focuses on Community-Based Participatory Research.

Dr. Thomas A. Pearson

"Little is known about disease trends, underlying attitudes, or health behaviors among Deaf or hard-of-hearing people. This population is woefully understudied and undeserved."

-Thomas A. Pearson, MD, MPH, PhD

Founding Director of the Rochester Prevention Research Center

Community Participatory Research With Deaf Sign Language Users to Identify Health Inequities

For the first time ever, a video has been created as an American Sign Language adaptation of a published article from the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH). This article reports findings from the Deaf Health Survey 2008.

Barnett S, Klein JD, Pollard RQ, Samar VJ, Schlehofer D, Starr MJ, Sutter E, Yang H, Pearson TA. (2011). Community participatory research to identify health inequities with deaf sign language users. American Journal of Public Health, 2011 Dec; 101(12):2235-8. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Link to AJPH video (scroll to bottom of the page)

Link to full AJPH article

Deaf Sign Language Users, Health Inequities, and Public Health: Opportunity for Social Justice

AJPH screen shot

Inequities in health and health care have increasingly become an area for concern and action for public health professionals, clinicians, policy makers, and communities. Research has documented inequities in the prevalence of chronic diseases of subpopulations defined by education, income, race and ethnicity, and English proficiency. Justice, a cornerstone of medical ethics, calls for corrective actions (1).

We contend that all communities contain a minority group whose health needs are understudied and underserved. The video is an adaptation of the article featuring dialogue in American Sign Language

Barnett S, McKee M, Smith SR, Pearson TA. (2011). Deaf sign language users, health inequities and public health: Opportunity for social justice. Preventing Chronic Disease 8(2).

Link to Health Inequities video

Link to full Health Inequities article


Deaf Strong Hospital 2015

Actors needed!


Seeking Deaf persons age 18 and up interested in participating in Deaf Strong Hospital, an all-day activity for first-year medical students at the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry that will teach them what it feels like to be Deaf in a hearing hospital.

DSH 2014 group pic

This is a role-reversal exercise, which means all of the doctors, receptionists, and pharmacists are Deaf and only communicate in ASL. The medical students will become patients and will have to learn how to communicate with Deaf doctors and nurses to get the health care they need. This fun and exciting event will take place at the University of Rochester Medical Center on August 28, 2015 from 8:30 to 3:30pm.

You will be paid about $50 for your participation. Free lunch and a t-shirt will also be provided to all participants.

Interested? Contact

Ian Deandrea-Lazarus