Royal Association for Deaf people receives funding from the National Lottery for their Deaf Detectives project

The Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD) has recently secured National Lottery funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to explore and tell the story of Deaf history in a series of resources including a website with videos, a book and a signed drama production.

During our 175 history, we have accumulated a unique archive of written records and photographs of the Deaf community. However, they are stored at the London Metropolitan Archives and in its current written format is not accessible in most Deaf people’s first language, British Sign Language (BSL).

The Deaf Detectives project aims to bring Deaf history to life by:

– Ensuring that Deaf heritage is identified and recorded for posterity
– Ensuring that Deaf heritage is better interpreted and explained
– Enabling Deaf people to develop skills in researching, presenting, filming and editing
– Allowing Deaf people to gain a better understanding of Deaf history and how it is related to key historic events e.g. Second World War
– Allowing Deaf children and young people to better connect with their heritage and culture

Dr. Jan Sheldon, CEO, said of the Deaf Detectives project ‘This is a really innovative project and one which will provide a lasting historical and educational legacy for the Deaf community.’

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we’re delighted to support this project which will not only equip Deaf people of all ages with the skills and opportunities to explore their own heritage but transform the way that the wider community can access those stories in the future.”

The project is underway with a volunteer from the British Deaf History Society (BDHS) already accessing the London Metropolitan Archives.

RAD plan to launch the Deaf Detectives website with BSL videos by July 2018 and a BSL signed Deaf Detectives play is due to go out on the road in September 2018.<b

If you want to volunteer your time to help with this project and learn new skills, please contact Russell Cooke, Community Development Manager.