The National Deaf Children’s Society has commissioned an exciting new research project which is being delivered by a combined research team from the Universities of Manchester and Edinburgh, led by Professor Alys Young. The Recording Emerging Adulthood in Deaf Youth (READY) study will be the first prospective, observational longitudinal study of deaf young people in the 15 to 18 age range, whether in the UK or internationally and it needs our help and support.

A great deal of research effort has focused on the early development of deaf children and their school years, whether in terms of language acquisition, paedagogical practices, family support, literacy or socio-emotional development. Far less attention has been paid to the years following compulsory education and the diverse pathways deaf children may take into young adulthood. We understand very little about which features in deaf children’s early life and school-age years may influence not just their educational and vocational outcomes but also their social developmental outcomes as young adults. This is important because if we can understand more about what enables deaf young people to achieve the key developmental milestones of young, autonomous adulthood we are better able to tailor support and resources earlier on in their developmental journeys.

500 young people

The READY research project aims to track over 500 nationwide deaf young people (aged 15 to 18 at point of entry) annually for five years as they face crucial turning points in their lives, develop their aspirations and identities and become autonomous citizens. There is a real data gap around this age group of deaf young people and their experiences – READY will gather data not just on attainment, employment and lifestyle but also on wellbeing, risk and protective factors on the way to deaf young people achieving their potential.

The project is looking for deaf young people from a variety of backgrounds – anyone between the ages of 15-18, with any kind of permanent hearing loss, living in England, Scotland or Wales can apply to take part. Can you display this poster in your department or waiting area? Can you promote in local groups you may be involved in?

The BAA is happy to endorse and be a supporter of this project that will provide vital information in an under-served age-group. BAA President, Sue Falkingham said, “This research is innovative and will provide a greater understanding of the needs of deaf young people and their experiences in all aspects of life as they reach adulthood. We hope BAA members will be able to help recruit young people to the study from their Audiology Clinics”.

Find out more about the project in its dedicated web pages:

Download poster here

The study is approved by the University of Manchester Research Ethics Committee (Ref: 2019-4903-10668), and is accessible in English, Welsh, BSL, Sign Supported Spoken English and Sign Supported Spoken Welsh.