University of Edinburgh
Empowering young deaf and visually impaired people: health, safety and sexuality

Sign and sound website

Final Report

Appendix 1
First Meeting of Empowering Young People Project

Project Coordinator - Elizabeth Izatt - Scottish Sensory Centre.
Researcher - John Ravenscroft - Scottish Sensory Centre.
Student. - Wendy - Donaldson’s College.
Student - Carri - Donaldson’s College.
Interpreter - Liz McCluskey. SASLI.

The meeting was held at the Scottish Sensory Centre on November 19th 1998 at 2pm and finished at 3:30pm.

Outline and Introduction:
Liz Izatt introduced the overall aims of the project, and gave an outline of the meeting’s agenda. She talked about how necessary it was to involve deaf and visually impaired teenagers on the project, how important it was to get feedback from them and that their input would be listened to and was considered valuable.
Wendy and Carri took this on board and were keen to see the websites that had been prepared in advance for them.

Website discussion
(nb most of the websites mentioned here will have changed, moved or disappeared in the intervening years)

This was the first website shown to them and both commented that they liked the layout of the page, especially the pictures. Rather than having cartoon graphics this site employs real photographs of teenagers. They liked the plain format of the site and thought that the information was quite well displayed. However, they did think the text was a little small, and although they can enlarge the page it still seemed out of proportion for the overall size.

Wendy and Carri were very keen on the quiz format of this site which can be found at
and thought that the answers to the quiz could be signed. Overall they give this site 6/10.

This site produced mixed emotions. Wendy thought the background image to this site was fantastic and really caught the eye, where as Carri thought it was horrible and didn’t want to look at it for a long time las it made her feel sick!

They thought that the overall front page design was a little confusing, far too many graphics on the front page.

They liked the top half but not the bottom half of the page. This was because the top half contained real images of people again and not cartoon pictures.

They also expressed a preference for they liked all the information ( the list of contents) visible without having to scroll down the page. This site displays its information across the page rather than down the page and both students said they preferred this form of formatting.

Generally, they liked the strong colours of this site, however, its overuse of graphics made the site confusing to use. 5/10

Again this site displays its contents page across the page rather than scrolling down and the students liked this too. What is catching about this site is the use of a ‘cog wheel’ logo and both Wendy and Carri said they liked the idea of a logo very much. They noted that the small icons on the left of the page were very good where as the middle section, the content section, was a little confusing as it was a little cramped. Both mentioned that themed colour pages were useful. 8/10

Out of the three sites the third one called ‘thesite’ was most popular because of its use of a logo and and its strong themed colour pages along with the front page being across rather than down.

The Empowering Site
Both Wendy and Carri expressed great interested in our site and suggested many ways to develop it.
a) Strong colour
b) Display front pages across the page rather than down the page
c) Use of real photo’s and not cartoon animation.
d) Use a lot of Quizzes
e) Themed colour pages

Both Wendy and Carri said they would like to take part in the signing of the texts, although Wendy was a little shy as she said here signed English was not very good. However, when it was explained to her that it would be in BSL and not signed English as the pages are aimed for deaf people she said that she would help.

We went through the questionnaire in detail to explained what the questions mean and whether it was okay for them to distribute it to their friends. Having gone through the questionnaire they agreed to distribute it and thought that many of their friends would also like to help in signing the texts.

Editorial control
Carri said she would like to have some editorial control over the pages and would like to see some pages about famous deaf people, how to use interpreters and an events section

Both Wendy and Carri expressed an interest in having ownership of the site and maintaining it on a regular basis, although they did say access to the internet at school was limited due to the small number of networked computers.

Further action
Carri and Wendy took with them ten copies of the questionnaire each and said that they were going to hand them out amongst their friends at school and at the deaf club. If more were needed they said that they could copy them at school.

Once they had asked all their friends they would hand the questionnaire back into the Scottish Sensory Centre and would wait for either Liz or John to contact them through their teacher.

John and Liz thanked the two students for their help and their input and also thanked the interpreter who also offered some suggestions too.
No date was given for a second meeting.

© Scottish Sensory Centre July 2000

Empowering report