Deaf History (2023 onwards)

We have begun work on the extensive archives of materials which have inherited from the University of Bristol Centre for Deaf Studies (up to 2017) and from the Centre for Deaf People in King Square (up to 2016). We have also been fortunate in being able to work on the school records for Elmfield School (which is now moving location (2023). Finally, Bristol Central Library and Bristol Records Office has another collection of public documents linking to activities of and for deaf people. All these are in addition to the materials accumulated over the 40 years of the Deaf Studies Trust. The analysis will take some time but we expect to release themed materials and old publications as it becomes realistic to do so.

Deaf in the Covid Aftermath (2023-2024)

A new Lottery funded project with the Gloucestershire Deaf Association and the Centre for Deaf people in Bristol, began in February 2023. This is designed to locate and interview a representative sample of Deaf people from age 20 to 80 years to discover how the deaf community is functioning now in the aftermath of Covid. We suspect major issues and a significant generational gap but our results will not be available until mid 2024. More detail in text form here and in BSL here.

Success in Deaf Schools Athletics Competition (July 2023)

race start deaf

Yate Adaptive and Para Athletics group together with the Deaf Studies Trust set up a regional Deaf Schools Athletics competition on 11th July at Yate Outdoor Sports complex.  This attracted 65 participants from Bristol Schools and mainstream schools in Wiltshire, Avon and Gloucestershire.  There also individual entries by parents of deaf children in different educational settings.  Participants were from 6 years old up to 15 years.  The events offered were all the recognisable ones from regular England Athletics and Quad Kids and were managed by UKA Yate and Bristol officials.

The significance of the event is that deaf sport is not part of UK Para Athletics (nor England Athletics) and there is very little opportunity for deaf children to take part in mainstream sports due to their different communications skills.  That applies not only at mainstream club level but also within the mainstream schools as well.

In order to support the process, we offered weekly sessions at the track for the Bristol deaf schools.  On Tuesdays, leading up to the event we coached around 30 deaf kids each week.long jump-deaf

The individual results in running, jumping and throwing events were provided back to the schools but there is no place to report them generally nor Power of Ten entry point.

Where it was possible to match performance against the England Athletics PB awards (the nine level scale) we found:

One star:  12 performances

2 star:   28  performances

3 star:   38 performances

Bronze:  12 performances

Silver:  8 performances

Gold:  9  performances
Elite:  2 performances

mini-vortex deaf

This is more an indication of potential – rather than absolute performance on the day but is illustrative of the physical possibilities for deaf young people – who are by and large physically able.  We adjusted all running events by using flags and no starting gun.  Instructions were relayed directly in British Sign Language or using interpreters.

Positive feedback all round .. usually indicating “see you next year” as the desire to repeat this initiative to offer access to athletics.



Deaf Be-Friends (2021)

(BSL Version here )

Thinking about the new deaf community … at home, not at the club or the pub….  Do you have someone to sign to?  Is there someone you can reach out to?
Are you fed up waiting for organisations to support deaf people who have to stay at home?
We are.
It is time for deaf people to take back control.
Don’t wait …
Use your contact list of your friends…
Maybe already on your smartphone.
Common sense… Start calling them.  Make contact.  How are you?  How is the family?
Just obvious chat.  Makes everyone feel better and safer…
If every deaf person calls even just four people … not just local ….anywhere in the country … it will have a huge impact.

Text them
Facetime them
Skype them
Whatsapp them

Just do it
And keep doing it until you can start to meet up again.

Lots of people are lonely
Lots of people live alone
Lots live with hearing people who can’t sign
Just Call
And soon the calls will come back to you

It is a new deaf community

Just do it! DEAF BE-FRIENDS!