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Our history

Breaking down barriers for more than 70 years

In 1944, 14 parents came together with a common goal – to give their deaf children the best start in life.

Almost 80 years later their legacy lives on. We’re still breaking down barriers for deaf children thanks to your amazing support.

Our achievements


We launched Every Moment Counts: our 2023 to 2028 strategy, a new five-year plan to transform the futures of as many deaf children and young people as possible, in the UK and around the world.


We worked with our Young People’s Advisory Board to launch a new campaign which shows only 20% of deaf young people believe all their teachers show good deaf awareness. More than 80,000 people sign our petition to introduce compulsory deaf awareness training for all teachers.


We relaunch the Buzz, our website for deaf young people, with a new look and refreshed content and support.


We bring our support for deaf children and their families online during lockdown. Four times as many people access our services online as a result of the pandemic.


We launch our Deaf Works Everywhere campaign to get more deaf young people into jobs that inspire them. The campaign film wins Best Charity Content Marketing Campaign at the 2020 Drum Content Awards.


We launch our ambitious five-year strategy Overcoming Barriers (PDF).


We celebrate 10 years of newborn hearing screening by projecting 100 pictures of deaf babies onto the Shell Centre, London. The event marks the launch of our Right from the Start campaign (PDF), which calls for every deaf child to get the right support as soon as they are diagnosed as deaf.


Our new Roadshow bus, funded by generous supporters, gives free information to thousands of deaf and hearing school children across the UK.


We launch our Stolen Futures campaign to challenge local council cuts to services for deaf children in England. After being contacted by 2,500 of our campaigners, MPs debate this issue in parliament.


We launch the Buzz, our website for deaf children and young people.


We successfully campaign for newborn hearing screening to be introduced across the UK, so that deaf babies are diagnosed as early as possible.


We launch the International Deaf Children’s Society – now known as Deaf Child Worldwide – to support deaf children in developing countries.


We secure a grant to set up a Freephone Helpline for families.


We set up a dedicated technology information service. 


We partner with the British Association of Teachers of the Deaf (BATOD) to campaign against cuts in deaf education services.


The Queen Mother attends a reception to celebrate our 20th anniversary.

We campaign for all types of communication, including speech and sign language, to be equally valued.


We become a national organisation, and are now known as the National Deaf Children’s Society.

We launch our first magazine for parents called Talk.


We publish our first information resource for parents called If Your Child is Deaf.

We set up our first monthly course to help parents support deaf children.

We change our name to the Deaf Children’s Society.


14 parents of deaf children meet up in London and agree to found the Society of St John of Beverley.