Young People Living with Deafness 2010

This project aimed to provide a better understanding of the needs and wishes of deaf young people attending main stream schools and in their transition into the wider community. Aims

Disability experienced through hearing loss from an early age can place significant challenges upon a young person. Statutory attempts to address this issue have predominantly come from an education perspective, through the adoption of policy that advocates the inclusion of deaf children into mainstream schools wherever possible. The benefits and risks of the inclusion agenda have been hotly debated within the deaf community for many years.

There is a clear need to support deaf young people in exploring ways of building and promoting self-determined positive change, social capital and social inclusion. The broad aims of this project are to empower and enhance the well-being of deaf young people through their participation as co-researchers in a co-operative inquiry; to better understand the needs and wishes of deaf young people attending mainstream schools and in their transition into the wider community and to provide for a ‘knowledge exchange between those who may wish to access community services for Deaf people and those providing the services, to ultimately improve these services. Mutual Benefit

The research initiator is currently a part-time Professional Doctorate student in Occupational Therapy and this project proposal is complementary to a research proposal for that course of study. The Professional Doctorate course framework provides a supervisory team for the duration of the project, demands and monitors ethical governance approval and strongly promotes a strategy that supports dissemination of learning to a broad community, both within and outside of the academy. Dissemination of the project findings will inform research practice, and opportunities for young people within the community, voluntary and statutory sectors represented in the ‘Our Space’ CoP.

It is also hoped that new pathways for knowledge, historically situated within universities will open up directly into communities where relationships have been built and sustained. Additionally, it is intended that outcomes from the larger research project will be used to directly influence and shape future primary mental health service provision for the young deaf population. Partnership Information

Robert Kirkwood, Occupational Therapist, Professional Doctorate student, project worker, University of Brighton
John Walker, Convenor of Deaf Studies, lead on ‘Our Space’ Community of Practice, project supervisor, University of Sussex
Bill McGowan, Snr Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, research supervisor, University of Brighton
Liz Beatty, Sensory Services Team, Social Services Department, community partner, West Sussex County Council
Simon Hesselberg, Head of Community Development, RAD
Damian Brewer, Community Member, Access Officer, Horsham District and Crawley Borough Councils
Joanna Rowland-Stuart, Community Member, Equality Officer, LSC
Owen Smith, Community Member
Diana Neal, Community Member, Editor for Deaf Sussex
Stephen Dering, Director, Dering Employment Services
Katie Fenwick, Social Work Resource Officer, Social Care
Tricia Mitchell, Manager, Sussex Deaf Association
Josh Cameron, PhD student, Occupational Therapy, University of Brighton
Juliet Millican, CUPP, University of Brighton
Young deaf people residing in West Sussex, ages 11 to 16