The British Association of Teachers of the Deaf
Promoting Excellence in Deaf Education

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The NDCS Youth Consultation

Dr Tyron Woolfe

The National Deaf Children’s Society is launching the UK’s largest ever consultation with 9-18 year olds to ensure the charity is in touch with their interests and concerns. The views of a minimum of 2,000 young deaf people, 10% of deaf 9-18 year olds in the UK, will inform and shape the future campaigns and services of NDCS.

The consultation will provide deaf young people with the opportunity to fundamentally shape the work the NDCS does. Their views and perspectives will lead our strategic planning of all future services for deaf young people.

It will also give us a clear mandate to represent what that world would look like for young deaf people today, to those with the power to create it. To be truly informed and ensure a balanced view the consultation will engage children and young people across the whole spectrum of deafness, from those who may have a slight hearing impairment, to those who are profoundly deaf and who may use sign language.

The NDCS will use an interactive website, focus groups and one to one interviews to gather the views of deaf children and young people.  All young people who take part will be entered everyone who takes part will be entered into a free prize draw to have a chance to win a number of attractive prizes including a Sony play station, a Nintendo Wii, a pair of PoweriZer sprung stilts.

This unique project aims to empower deaf children and young people and I hope that they seize the opportunity to get involved we truly want them to take a lead, this is not a token exercise. Our work to date has focused primarily on supporting deaf children and young people through the family. Whilst this vital work will continue, we have taken the decision to focus more of NDCS’s resources on direct services for deaf children and young people and they need to tell us where we should focus this increase in investment.

This consultation will help us understand more from the perspective of deaf children and young people about the issues and barriers they face, if any, across the UK today.  We want them to tell us what our priorities should be in removing those barriers that do exist. will gather views of deaf children and young people throughout October 2007 and give them the opportunity to register to take part in focus groups and one to one interviews around the UK.

The website will also have an area for parents and for professionals working with deaf children to enable them to contribute to this important project. The design and choice of questions to be used in the consultation will be led by a representative group of young deaf people and some of the focus groups and interviews will be run by young deaf people who will be available to assist children who need support in participating in the consultation. NDCS will report the results of the consultation project in January 2008 and outline the strategy for its future provision of services for deaf children and young people.

Further details from


The results of the consultation are available and downloadable as .pdfs from the “results” link on the NDCS website.