Asthma UK community forum
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Medical Errors Due To Language Barriers


I'm a graphic design student at Bath Spa University. I am starting a project where I want to create a unique design that communicates a visual language to overcome and eliminate language barriers.

After doing some research I have found that language barriers can be a problem in the medical field. I have chosen three conditions Asthma (as I am an Asthma Sufferer), Epilepsy and diabetes; these are incurable life long illnesses. I have chosen these three conditions due to the high number of sufferers.

As we can communicate through signs and symbols what I want to do it design something that will inform people about maybe the medication needed (this could also be colour coded to the colour of inhaler, etc.) also an illustrated step-by-step guide on how to help someone either having an attack or an epileptic fit.

This will inform someone who may not be able to speak English what help is required, this could also work if you went on holiday and ran out of medication you would be able to give whatever I design (a card for example) to a doctor and from the symbols, signs, icons, etc. they could understand what condition you have and what medication you require.

Do you think this idea is viable? Do you think this idea is necessary? How could it be improved? What design outcomes do you think would be most appropriate? (e.g. a card, a website, an app, booklet/leaflet?)

Any further information, help guidance, ideas, etc would be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks

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