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Making the arts deaf-friendly

Photo: Find your creative spirit

Taking part in art activities can help deaf children and young people to:

  • feel more confident
  • learn new skills
  • improve their communication
  • explore and understand their emotions, identity and the world around them
  • be creative and imaginative
  • broaden their horizons
  • have fun.

Deaf-friendly arts

Watch our British Sign Language video on Deaf-friendly arts.

To help deaf children and young people get the best from arts activities, think about the set-up of the room or venue you are working in. Where possible, rearrange the room so that you have a circular or u-shaped set up, rather than blocks of tables, so that everyone can see you.

Make sure you are in the centre of the room and that it is well lit. If the light is behind you, it can cause shadow on the face which causes difficulties with lipreading.

Clear signage is important, especially in public venues; if a deaf child is unsure of where to go they may not feel as comfortable to talk to reception staff as a hearing child.

If you can, try and arrange a backstage tour ahead of watching a performance, can be useful for deaf children and young people as they can use the extra sensory information to support what they watch during the show.

Find out more about how to create good listening environments.