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Families celebrate end of Everyone Together project at Zoo Fun Day

Published Date: 29 Aug 2019

Edinburgh Zoo saw families celebrate the end of a transformational project for deaf children across Scotland.

Nearly 300 deaf children and their parents from all over Scotland gathered at Edinburgh Zoo on Sunday 4 August to celebrate the success of the National Deaf Children’s Society’s ‘Everyone Together’ project.

Families from the Western Isles to Dumfries and Galloway attended the event for a fun day out and got up close and personal with the animals, enjoyed face painting and had entertaining accessible talks about the animals with the support of British Sign Language interpreters and assistive technology.

Everyone Together was a three-year project designed by the National Deaf Children’s Society to transform the support on offer to Scotland’s deaf children.

The project included everything from teaching the parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters of deaf children to communicate using family sign language, training parent volunteers to provide emotional support to other families and providing specialised workshops for professionals like teachers and health visitors.

Over three years, Everyone Together, which was funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, has supported 186 families in every corner of Scotland.

Over 750 children and nearly 700 parents took part in the project and nearly 400 health visitors, audiologists and teachers took part in workshops to improve the support they offer to deaf children’s families in Scotland.

The National Deaf Children’s Society is now looking at how it can build on the success of the project, and find new funding to continue its work.

Alasdair O’Hara, at the National Deaf Children’s Society, said:

“What a fantastic day at Edinburgh Zoo. It was great to see so many people who have been helped by this life-changing project. I want to say a huge thank you to all those involved for all their hard work.

 “This project has made a huge difference to the lives of deaf children across Scotland. It’s helped parents to support each other, families to learn sign language and professionals to better support the deaf children they meet.

“While the Everyone Together project is coming to an end, we’re working to make sure deaf children and their families across Scotland still receive the early intervention that they need”