University of Edinburgh

children harbour fishingBackground

Are you a parent of a deaf child aged 12 or below? Are you living on a low income? Would you be interested in talking to us in your own home, or at a nearby community building, or in a discussion group?

During 2018 we will be exploring the views of families raising a deaf child or children while living on a low income. The project title Telling It Like It Is shows that we expect straight talking from families as they discuss their experiences.

We are interested to find out about what families know about language choices, technology and services for deaf children. We want to know what parents think about the support they had to make decisions and get the information they needed for their deaf child or children. What do these families think have been the challenges and supports for themselves about their deaf child’s language and communication development?

We will be interviewing 30 families in their own homes, or in a nearby community centre, from across the UK. We will also be running three discussion groups in London, Birmingham and Glasgow. We expect 45 families to be involved, though others can follow the project through updates to this website. Every family taking part in the interview or discussion group will receive a £30 voucher for their time and travel expenses to get to the discussion group meetings. This project has been funded by the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS).


deaf child and adult communicatingContact

For more information about this project, please contact

Project team

child playing in washing basketAre you interested in being interviewed or joining a discussion group?

Interviews and the discussion groups will happen during 2018.

Please download this information sheet and consent form. (Word Doc)

Email it back to Rachel O'Neill. She will contact you to discuss it further.

Are you a head of service for deaf children?

Feel free to use this letter and leaflet (letter in Welsh/Cymraeg) to send to all the families on your caseload with children of 12 years old and less. Families can then self-select to participate if they are living on a low income. All local authorities have had news of this project and many have posted it on to heads of school services to indicate their agreement to take part. You may adapt the letter in Word to suit your own authority. Some authorities are emailing this to families, others giving it out on paper. We can provide paper copies in stamped envelopes for you to send out if you tell us how many you require. Please contact Rachel O'Neill about this.


If you would like information in another spoken or signed language, please contact us and we will do our best to get the information to the family. We can also provide the information by post.


deaf child smilingResults

We will report our findings on this website. Presentations which lead from the project will also appear on this page. Audio and British Sign Language summaries in the different preferred languages of parents involved in the project will also appear on this website.

Supervision of this project

The project is in the Scottish Sensory Centre, part of the School of Education at the University of Edinburgh. Professor John Ravenscroft is the director of the SSC. You can contact him if you have any concerns about the project.

The project is has received approval from the School of Education University of Edinburgh ethics committee. This means the University has checked that the interviews and discussion groups will be managed carefully, keeping to the research rules.


montage of children playing in playgrounds