People with disabilities often face hardships in everyday life. For deaf people that hardship often comes
in the form of communication. Having that in mind, along the importance of good communication
between a doctor and a patient A-SMYLE alumnus Dušan Bogićević along with the International
Federation of Medical Students’ Associations decided to organize a sign language course for medical
students at the Faculty of Medicine in Niš.
The idea was to in addition to basic sign language teach the students more medically orientated phrases
that can be used in the doctor’s office. This would allow them as future doctors not to depend on
interpreters when dealing with deaf patients and provide a timely diagnosis and better the treatment of
patients. When the idea was presented to the staff of the Bubanj school for children with special needs
it was met with enthusiasm and so the mini course started.
The response from the students was better than expected and instead of the planned 20 beginners
there were around 60. Over the course of three workshops with the help of special ed teachers form the
Bubanj school the students covered everything from letters, simple phrases such as hello, goodbye etc.,
to more complex phrases concerning the various problems patients express in the office. The workshops
were interactive and the students were eager to participate and learn and often asked for more phrases
than were planned for that day. There was even a practical part where several deaf students came and
practiced with the students simulating a real doctor patient conversation. The word about the course
spread quickly and the number of interested students keeps increasing, which led to the second course
being planned for May and the talks for further collaboration in organizing more beginner as well as
advanced courses on a regular basis.