Key study helps young deaf people reach goals
Volunteers are being sought to take part in a study aimed at helping young deaf people achieve the best possible outcomes in life.
The five-year study – the biggest ever conducted in the UK – will analyse how the formative experiences of deaf young people can influence their adult lives, and shed light on any barriers they might encounter.
The results will inform policies and practices that support young deaf people as they seek to achieve their long-term goals.
Researchers will focus on the experiences of many different deaf young people including those with a mild hearing loss or deafness in one ear, as well as those who are profoundly deaf.
They are particularly keen to find out why school pupils in the UK with mild hearing loss have nearly as large an attainment gap as profoundly deaf students.
The study will not only examine outcomes associated with education and work. Researchers will also explore how young people’s social networks and friendship groups may change, their wellbeing and what helps them in achieving independence and positive life choices.
The READY Study – short for Recording Emerging Adulthood in Deaf Youth – will involve some 500 participants from a variety of backgrounds, aged 16 to 19, and living in England, Scotland or Wales.
We hope the findings will be invaluable to young deaf people, their families and to service providers.
Volunteers will be surveyed once a year, over a five-year period, to shed light on the varied pathways deaf young people take. Each year, up to 50 participants will be invited to take part in an in-depth interview.
Young people with any kind of permanent deafness or hearing loss can join the study if they are aged 16-19. Participation is offered via written English and Welsh, British Sign Language and sign supported spoken English and Welsh.
The study, funded by The National Deaf Children’s Society, is led by the University of Manchester in collaboration with the Scottish Sensory Centre at the University of Edinburgh.
The lives of deaf young people in the 21st Century offer more possibilities than ever before.