Deaf Studies Trust Timeline

what we have done ..1984 – 2023 

The Deaf Studies Trust (DST)  established 35 years ago (1984) is a research-based charity with a national aim to enhance and improve the quality of deaf people’s lives and their communication with society.  

Projects and Activities in the Deaf Studies Trust since its beginning

The Trust has been active since 1984 in setting up projects which improve the situation of deaf people in the UK.  Projects are either small projects to initiate new areas of work or large scale research contracts to deliver results to a specific brief and deadline.  Almost all projects are as a result of commissions or competitive tenders.  The Trust also applies its findings through courses and workshops.  Some of the research is open and available – other studies are commissions which are closed and only available to the funders.  Where we can, we release the reports. You can access many of these reports on the downloads page.  

1984 onwards

1. Language development of deaf babies at home from the age of three months – recordings of mothers and babies
2. Comparisons of deaf and hearing mothers in access to information – interviews with mothers about their use of information sources
3. Development of new resource material, for the training of workers with deaf people, in the form of sign language teaching videotapes
4. A new computer system (HI-LINC) which provides a live transcription and note-taking system to allow deaf people to participate in meetings and lectures by displaying the text onscreen

1990 onwards

5. Switched on – Deaf people’s views on television subtitling- a national study of over 2,500 deaf and hard-of-hearing people
6. Deaf Children At Home – sign language intervention in families of deaf children
7. Training of deaf and hearing teachers for a multilingual deaf school in Moscow
8. Family workshops in Bristol – for parents with Deaf children
9. The History of Deaf Education in Bristol  project – collection of the archives and history of Deaf education – report published; revised for 2017.
10. Deaf Leadership/Management Training – video materials and text
11. Saturday Schools for deaf and hearing children – an experimental project to establish a Saturday language and culture schools for the children of Deaf families and the Deaf children of hearing families

12. The creation of the Family Centre (Deaf Children) – a centre where parents and families of deaf children can play a significant role in the services and provision for their child.

1995 onwards

13. Hearing Parents with Deaf Children – an investigation and then series of workshops for the deaf parents of hearing children
14. Elderly Deaf – an interview study of deaf people in the community and the problems of ageing
15. Changing the Community – an investigation of the impact of the training of sign language interpreters
16. Mental Health and Deafness – a national interview study of deaf people in residential homes for reasons of mental health
17. Signworks: Developing Deaf Business – a collaborative project which brought together commercial organisations and researchers to develop a unique business information server which is accessible through videophones.
18. Deaf People, Information and the Community (DPIC) – a national lifestyle survey of deaf people in the UK, following a representative sample of deaf people aged between 18 and 65 years for three years.

2000 Onwards

19. DPIC II – an extension to the DPIC project which provided a series of regional workshops and collected further data on deaf health, language and culture
20. WISDOM – an international collaboration which developed 3rd generation mobile video services for deaf people throughout Europe
21. Video Talks – promoting the use of video phones in the UK deaf community
22. Signed Advice – pilot for Citizens’ Advice service to deaf people in sign language
23. Sign 50+ – the provision of videophones to Deaf people at home – those older than 50 years;  this project continued until 2014 with gradual changes in the technology.  Services and equipment provided free.
24. Sign Renew – workshops for older people and those with special needs to support them with technology and especially videophones.
25. BSL Access in Scotland – interview study of Deaf people all over Scotland including Shetland Isles and Western Isles about their access to services – like police, health
26. See Hear Now – analysis of viewer’s reactions to the See Hear Programme
27. Sports for Young Deaf people (BBC Children in Need) – a programme to encourage young Deaf people to engage with less common sports and to develop leadership and management skills

2005 onwards 

28. Employment issues for Deaf people – interviews with Deaf people and their employers about satisfaction in the workplace
29. Electoral Process for Deaf people with BDA Wales – an evaluation of the project to improve Deaf people’s awareness of the political processes.
30. Sign Language CODEC with DTI (on work on eye gaze and sign language) – technical study of where Deaf people look when they watch sign language
31. SignAware funded by DWP a partnership project which led to the setting up of – a resource for all those who work with Deaf people.
32. DeafBlind Worlds – national study comparing Deaf and Deafblind people’s attitudes to life and to each other.

2010 onwards

33. Legal Choices – Silent Process – Engaging legal services when you do not hear – interviews with Deaf and hard of hearing people about their experiences of meeting with solicitors and in court.
34. Healthy Deaf Minds – a workshop series to promote well being in the Deaf community in Bristol
35. Stepping Stones – Interview and analysis to support the creation of a new approach to family services for Deaf children in the South West of England
36. Sign on TV a report for the BSL Broadcasting Trust to advise on the views of Deaf people about the programmes to be commissioned and shown
37. Deaf Experiences of Council Services – with changes to Local Authorities we interviewed Deaf people about their involvement in community activities.
38. Digital Switchover – information supplied in BSL and work in the homes to help Deaf people with the TV switchover to digital.
39. SETIT – providing training for Deaf people in IT skills
40. REACH112 – REsponding to All Citizens Needing Help – UK Project Evaluation of a project part funded by the European Commission in the ICT Pilot Programme – a large scale pilot project to provide video telephony to Deaf and hard of hearing people and to open up access to emergency services.
41. Total Conversation Cymru – Supported by Welsh Government Advancing Equality Fund – a service in Wales to allow Deaf and hard of hearing people to communicate with public services either remotely (eg from home or work) or in person (at a walk-in centre) in video, voice and text (or any combination), either directly face to face or through an on-demand online relay agent.
42. Deaf Health – National study of health outcomes for Deaf people in the light of the problems of access which they face.
43. Perceptions of the BDA – A commissioned study of Deaf people’s views on the working of the British Deaf Association

2015 onwards

44. Lost Spaces – a collaboration with the University of York (St Johns) to provide events for Deaf people in Bristol to understand the changes which have taken place;  includes Bristol Deaf History, EU referendum preparation, Bristol Deaf Worlds Exhibition
45. BoldShield – a collaboration with several technology partners to examine Deaf experiences when they are ill and to develop technology which will make it easier for Deaf people to take control of their own health and well being
46. Bristol Deaf Worlds Festival – a celebration of nearly 200 years of Deaf people in Bristol
47. TC-Cap – a collaboration with Purple Communications (Europe) to examine automatic speech recognition for deaf and hard of hearing people’s interactions
48. Language Skills (Erasmus +)  developing language opportunities for teaching and learning – partners in Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary as well as UK – completed 2021
49.  Deaf Dementia Discussion – meetings led by DST to allow deaf people to explain and discuss their experiences of dementia
50. Family Life with a Deaf Child:  sharing eperiences – exploratory conference and follow up activities

2019 onwards

51. DeafStation – online news in BSL. Covid hit hard and deaf people were deprived of information. We set up a daily news service in BSL to explain about the latest rules and the progress of the pandemic. This stopped in 2021 as we came out of lockdown but the service was re-instated for the climate summit – COP26

52. BSL Training for University of Bristol Medic students – using the new technology from the Language Skills Project we have been further developing our three-week full time immersion training programme for medic students

53. Deaf in the Covid Aftermath – a new project to determine the current situation of the deaf community after the major impact of the Covid pandemic. – working with GDA and CfD.

Throughout this time the Trust has provided support and assessments to Deaf children and adults on behalf of families, Local Authorities, Solicitors and Police.

You can access many of the project reports on our Downloads page  (obviously not the legal cases or police work…)