The deaf community struggles daily with stigma, prejudice, and communication, but that's not all: medical studies have found that deaf people suffer from mental health issues at about twice the rate of the general population, and also have real problems accessing needed mental health services. Mental illnesses are compounded in the deaf community by difficulties communicating with care providers — researchers have found that lip-reading isn't adequate, interpreters who know sign language are scarce, and many diagnostic tools depend on knowledge that's not common among those who are deaf. Communication is Needed, but Scarce- Mental health services are difficult for deaf people to access. One small study involving 54 people found that more than half hadn't been able to find mental health services that they, like deaf people, could use. In addition, psychiatric conditions such as mood disorders are frequently under-diagnosed in the deaf community, in large part due to communication difficulties that include:
- few experienced interpreters between English and sign language
- problems in translation between spoken and sign language
- differences in how deaf people display feelings and perceive mental health
- Differences Important to Recognize Reading and writing aren't adequate substitutes for spoken language in this context. Hearing loss interferes quite a lot with vocabulary, and so many deaf high school graduates read and write at a grade-school level. In addition, lip-reading is far from 100% accurate — the average deaf adult can lip-read only 26% to 40% of speech. Thus mental health service providers to the deaf and hard of hearing community are limited and these inspired us to work on the problem.
What it does
Evoke is curated exclusively for healing and helping deaf and hard of hearing clients with their mental health problems, it takes you into the imaginary world of real-life situations and makes your thoughts directed to the outcome of that particular scenario simultaneously noting the way you react to that situation, giving you stimulations on how you could deal with such conditions in real life and or could have dealt differently if have already been through it. One such scenario of peer pressure at the workplace has been illustrated in our prototype giving the idea regarding our user interface. Other notable features of our app include guided journaling, illustrated relaxing exercises and you can even have look at how you have evolved using evoke through your progress report.
This is an Implementable app- due to the settings of limited services available, Scalable- to a large number of stakeholders, Creative- because it's one of a kind solution designed only for deaf and hard of hearing community and Feasible due to available evidence of use of storytelling in psychological treatments.
How we built it
We have used canvas for building and ideating our prototype, with illustrations used from content available online. Standard dev-ops- procedures have been followed for developing the ideated service.
Challenges we ran into
Ideating on the solution which would be easily accessible and acceptable to hard of hearing community was a challenge. Looking for illustrated scenarios that hard of the hearing community could be facing in real life was a considerable challenge and records of such cases will be the important task of our developing process.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Diving into the blue ocean of mental health of deaf and hard of hearing communities with an innovative solution like illustrated storytelling therapy seems a huge accomplishment.
What we learned
Learning about the problems faced by the deaf community and brainstorming on every possible solution was a game-changing experience and we would definitely like to take this project to reality, helping those who desperately need us for defeating their mental health problems.
What's next for Evoke
Future prospects of Evoke include the development phase in which we will be working with full-stack developers to develop and program our application, marketing, and networking with the stakeholders, working with mental health professionals in designing our illustrated stories and effective questioning mechanism to be developed.As evoke has a huge market size upscaling it to the global market will be one of the principal objectives.
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