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NDCS press release – New app to support families embarking on deafness journey

Posted in News

New app to support families embarking on deafness journey

  • Personalised content tailored to the age and location of the deaf child
  • Journal feature for recording and reflecting on key moments and appointment notes
  • Parents can view and book charity’s events and workshops
  • Real-life stories from other families to provide connection and community

The National Deaf Children’s Society has launched a new mobile app, My NDCS, to support the parents of newly-identified deaf children, as well as deaf children of all ages.

My NDCS enables parents and carers to personalise and tailor the support provided by the charity, so they only receive information that is relevant to the specific needs of their child, whatever their age.

The app features a journal function, enabling parents to jot down feelings, milestones and appointments. They can also book themselves onto the charity’s events and workshops, and get reassurance from the real-life accounts of other families going through similar experiences.

Kyla Alderman, the mother of a deaf child, told the charity of how My NDCS helped her when she first found out her baby was deaf and how it will continue to benefit her as her child grows.


Kyla said:

“Finding out my daughter was profoundly deaf at three weeks was a complete shock. My NDCS has helped me understand her diagnosis and reassured me that she’ll still live a normal life. Reading the real-life stories definitely benefitted me the most, as I got to hear other children’s and parents’ experiences.

“My NDCS will continue to benefit me in the future as we start the cochlear implant assessment. Also, as my daughter gets older, I look forward to attending some of the events, to ensure she is part of the deaf community and can meet other children like her.”

The decision to develop an app was sparked by the discovery that deaf children (65%) are almost twice as likely as all children (34%) to complete their first year of school without having achieved a ‘good level of development’*

A lack of relevant information at the right time is a likely contributing factor. The charity found that over 4 in 10 parents across the UK are uncertain about finding their way around healthcare and education services to find the support they need.

The parents of newly-identified deaf children had expressed a clear preference for an app as the most convenient source of info and advice. So the charity began a long period of research, involving focus groups, a survey and pilot testing, in order to develop an app that addresses their needs.

Ann Jillings, mum to Daniel, now 18, told us how My NDCS might have benefited her when her son was a baby.

Ann said

“I would heartily recommend the app as a very useful and convenient source of information, along with the advice from the charity’s advisors and website. I really like the journal section – I would have loved that when Daniel was a baby.

“If I’d had this app when Daniel was young, it would have made it so much easier to find the information I needed, but even at this stage I find it useful, as there are customised resources to support parents through every age and stage.”

Holly Patel, who led the app development team at the National Deaf Children’s Society, said:

“Our mission is to make sure that deaf children receive the support they need from the moment their deafness is identified, so that they get the best possible start in life, especially during those vital early years.

“Two thirds of deaf children start school without having achieved expected levels of development, compared with a third of all children, so we knew there was a real need for more information and support at that crucial time.

“We developed the app to try to fulfil that need. Parents can configure it so that it gives them only the information that’s specific and relevant to their individual needs, in a quick and convenient way.”

My NDCS has proven to be very popular since its launch in March 2024 and is already in use by over 1,000 parents. In the month after the app’s launch the charity saw an increase of over 150% in parent membership sign-ups, with the app accounting for 42% of those. In May, nearly half (49%) of all parent membership sign-ups were received via My NDCS.

*www.gov.uk/government/statistics/early-years-foundation-stage-profile-results-2021-to-2022  Children are defined as having a good level of development if they are at the expected level for the 12 early learning goals within the 5 areas of learning relating to: communication and language; personal, social and emotional development; physical development; literacy; and mathematics.