ASL Adaptation of Balance and Fall Risks Self-Report Measures

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Grant award: $99,913.31

Principal Investigator:
Name: Chizuko Tamaki, AuD, PhD 
Institution: Gallaudet University, USA

The objective of this project is to adapt and validate four self-report and self-screening tools of balance functions and risk of falling that are currently available in written English, into American Sign Language (ASL). These self-report tools are used by healthcare professionals and community-living older adults to (1) find out if an individual needs to see healthcare professionals and specialists for evaluation and intervention of their balance problems or fall risk, and/or (2) learn if an individual is improving with intervention. The tools are widely used and have been translated into many other languages, but not in ASL.

It is important that these tools are accessible to Deaf people who use ASL. Fundamentally, ASL users should have access to the same tools that English (and many other languages in the world) users have in their native language. Moreover, previous research repeatedly showed that people who are deaf or hard of hearing are at a higher risk of balance difficulties, especially as they get older. Therefore, assessment tools for balance functions and risk of falling are especially needed for the Deaf population.

The adapted and validated tools will be made available for healthcare professionals and Deaf individuals to use freely. Study results will be submitted for scientific journal publication and summary will be available in ASL.