The Trust began its work in 1984 in order to develop a more active link between research and the practical needs of the Deaf community.
It has carried out research work on young Deaf infants in order to find out about the early development of sign language and has worked on health issues with retired Deaf people. There has been work on every age group in between. It provides courses to professionals, workshops to parents and teachers and training for Deaf people in IT. There have been summer schools for Deaf people from other countries to learn English. Over the last 15 years, the Trust has worked on telecommunications in large scale projects and in local initiatives to provide video telephony to Deaf people.
We have seen major changes in the Deaf community in this time. When we began Deaf people were in low paid jobs in factories and in manual work. Nowadays, Deaf people go to University and work in offices and in media and technology. Deaf schools are likely to use BSL and Deaf Studies is available at University and in Deaf schools. More recently as we have seen austerity hit the UK, we are seeing closure of Deaf Clubs and loss of Deaf Schools. Deaf employment is also affected.