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Deaf-friendly Standard

Demonstrate your organisation’s commitment to inclusion and accessibility

Photo: Climbing instructor helping two deaf children hold onto climbing ropes at an indoor climbing centre.

About the Deaf-friendly Standard

The Deaf-friendly Standard was created to help organisations (businesses and  employers) be as inclusive as they can for all deaf children and young people. As well as meeting legislation through training, reviewing policies, practises and resources.

The Deaf-friendly Standard has three levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Your organisation must achieve each level of the Deaf-friendly Standard in order. Each level will help to build on your understanding and practise. You can achieve Bronze without the need to achieve a higher level.


Bronze demonstrates your organisation's commitment to being deaf-friendly. It gives you the opportunity to learn and understand the policies, procedures and knowledge that is needed to make sure you are accessible for all deaf children and young people.


Silver is about taking action. This includes putting in place identified cost effective reasonable adjustments and making improvements to your organisation's policies and practises.


Gold is an award of excellence in being deaf-friendly. It demonstrates your organisation's commitment to continuous improvement by involving deaf young people, as well as helping to create accessible opportunities for them.

How we’ll support you

We'll support you throughout the whole process. We’ll provide lots of free information and advice to help you achieve each level of the Standard.

Why your organisation or business should sign up to the Deaf-friendly Standard

Being awarded the Deaf-friendly Standard sends a positive message that inclusion and accessibility is at the heart of your organisation. It shows your commitment to including and supporting deaf children and young people.

Benefits for deaf children and young people

  • Access to inclusive opportunities such as volunteering or employment
  • Helping to break down barriers for deaf young people
  • Enabling young people to develop and grow
  • Improved access for young people to different services.

'It is often a challenge for deaf young people to approach organisations when they are uncertain of the response which they will be met with. It can prevent us from feeling included. Knowing that your organisation will be deaf-friendly and can accommodate the way I communicate will really help me. Hopefully this supports even more deaf young people to use your service. Thank you for being one less barrier for deaf young people.'

- Ella, age 15

Benefits for your staff

  • Increased awareness and understanding of deafness
  • Opportunity to develop new skills
  • Benefits for your organisation
  • Recognition within the deaf community as an inclusive and accessible organisation
  • Creation of an inclusive culture
  • Helping to break down barriers for deaf young people
  • Access to expert knowledge and support on deafness
  • A chance to work with deaf young people through our Young Inspectors programme and get top recommendations from the people that matter
  • Opportunity to network with like-minded organisations
  • Increase reach and engagement
  • Possible partnership opportunities with the National Deaf Children’s Society.

Deaf-friendly Standard logo

As you achieve each level of the Standard, you’ll receive a logo to use on your website, social media and promotional materials. Using the Deaf-friendly Standard logo will make it easier for deaf children, young people, and their families and friends to identify deaf-friendly organisations in their area. You’ll also be listed on our website.

Deaf-friendly Standard bronze logo Deaf-friendly Standard silver logoDeaf-friendly Standard gold logo

Which organisations and businesses can apply for the Deaf-friendly Standard

The Deaf-friendly Standard is suitable for a wide variety of organisations and businesses who:

  • provide direct services and events for children and young people both online or face to face
  • provide direct opportunities to young people such as employment, volunteering, work experience and apprenticeships.

You’ll need to have support from your senior management team to help make any necessary changes in your organisation.

Your organisation doesn’t need to be a member of the National Deaf Children’s Society.

How to apply

Once you've applied online, we'll send you all the information you need to get started on working towards the Deaf-friendly Standard.

If you have any questions or are unsure if your organisation is eligible, please email [email protected].