When families find out their child is deaf, often the first thing they worry about is the future. But we know that with the right support, deaf children can do anything other children can do. We’re here for families from the moment they find out their child is deaf, to help them give their child the support they need.
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The pandemic had a huge effect on us all, but it brought extra challenges for deaf children and young people. Through national lockdowns, home-schooling and constantly changing restrictions, we've had to transform the way we provide our services so that deaf children are not left behind.
Our Freephone Helpline is often the first place families turn to for support. Last year we answered 3,290 enquiries through calls, emails and live chat.
We gave families a great new way to connect by launching Your Community, our online forum for parents. Around 500 members have registered so far.
Holding our events online massively increased attendance from the previous year, with a total of 2,194 attendees from across the UK.
- 53 families attended our Family Sign Language (FSL) courses on Zoom, learning signs and phrases for everyday life. All reported improved communication with their deaf child. On YouTube, our tutorials received over 29,000 views.
- We audited resources made by the Department for Education, and raised accessibility with governments across the UK, the BBC and the national academy set up to support schools with online learning.
- Our Young Inspectors made sure that organisations were delivering accessible, engaging services for deaf children and young people. They influenced CoppaFeel!, ChildLine’s Deaf Zone and BBC’s Newsround.
- We supported 237 families to appeal against decisions made about their child’s education or benefits, with a 94% success rate.
- We made sure that the Department for Education guidance on face masks was amended to include face shields/visors as an alternative.
- We supported one of our Young People’s Advisory Board members, Dinah, with her petition on face masks in school that was signed by over 35,000 campaigners.
- We participated in meetings for all 115 active Children’s Hearing Services Working Groups, supporting families and professionals to work together for local deaf children.
- 2,548 people from schools and community groups attended our digital Roadshow workshops, including 686 deaf children and young people.
- We matched 206 deaf children and young people as pen pals, who wrote letters or recorded videos to each other in British Sign Language.
- As part of our Deaf Works Everywhere campaign, we created a free toolkit and resources for careers advisors, teachers and Teachers of the Deaf. The campaign video won an award for Best Charity Content Marketing Campaign.
We aim high but there’s always more we can do to improve support for deaf children and their families. Learning from our experiences over the past year, we will:
- grow our understanding of the digital divide, and make sure that families who can’t access our support online can get it in other ways
- provide more effective services for borrowing and purchasing technology
- work to ensure that deaf babies and young children have a good start in life, through the creation of our new Bright Start team
- develop our vision and roadmap for deaf children’s future education support, through our Deaf Education 2030 project
- better support deaf children aged 8 to 14 and their families, through the creation of our dedicated Enablement team
- continue to enhance the Buzz, launched in April 2021
- enact our plan for user-generated content to ensure better representation across our channels.
Find out more about our plans in our latest impact report.
- 2020/21 impact report PDF
- 2019/20 impact report PDF
- 2018/19 impact report PDF
- 2017/18 impact report PDF
- 2016/17 impact report PDF
- 2015/16 impact report PDF
- 2014/15 impact report PDF
- 2013/14 impact report PDF
- 2011/12 impact report PDF
- 2010/11 impact report PDF
- 2008/09 impact report PDF
- 2007/08 impact report PDF
- 2006/07 impact report PDF