Deaf Works Everywhere: film launches new campaign to transform deaf young people’s lives

  • The National Deaf Children’s Society launches a new campaign #DeafWorksEverywhere with a short film.
  • Designed and co-created by a group of 19 deaf young people from across the UK, the film features 30 deaf adults sharing their career stories.
  • Deaf adults are twice as likely to be unemployed as hearing people, and many deaf young people think their career options are limited.
  • The new campaign will work across the whole of the UK to shift perceptions among deaf young people, parents, teachers and employers.
  • The National Deaf Children’s Society wants to “shatter the myth that deaf people can’t do certain jobs.”

The National Deaf Children’s Society releases a short film to mark the launch of its new multi-year campaign get more deaf young people into work – and into jobs that inspire them.

The two-minute video, co-created and produced by Red Bee Creative, features 30 deaf adults showcasing their careers and is narrated by deaf Doctor Who actress Sophie Stone.

It also stars deaf actress Vilma Jackson, who presents the film in British Sign Language.

The National Deaf Children’s Society has launched the campaign after research showed deaf people are twice as likely to be unemployed as hearing people, with the majority of deaf young people having limited aspirations about which jobs they can do.

It features a range of deaf people doing their jobs, including a DJ, news reader, NASA engineer, MP, beautician and a doctor. It also features Hollywood actress, Walking Dead star, and soon-to-be Marvel Superhero Lauren Ridloff.

In starting the campaign, the charity wants to “shatter the myth that deaf people can’t do certain jobs”, aiming to show deaf young people across the country that they have incredible futures ahead of them. From here, the National Deaf Children’s Society will be working with employers and campaigning to make sure every deaf young person can reach their potential.

The campaign was co-created with 19 deaf young people, who decided on its direction, consulted with other deaf young people about how it should look and feel, researched why the issue mattered, and worked on every stage of the film to make sure it reflected their lived experiences.

Jayden, Lily and Ida are three of the deaf young people who helped to co-design the campaign.

Speaking about they set the campaign up, Jayden (17), from London, said: “Deaf Works Everywhere is so important to me because with this I feel that I’d be more confident, and that I’d get the support I need. I decided to campaign on this because I feel that a lot of young deaf people feel there is no support in the workplace for them and feel that there are a limited jobs for them.

“The people in this film never let barriers stop them, and if they made it to the other side, they are waiting for you to make it too.”

Lily, who is 18 and from East Sussex, added: “It encourages young deaf people and reinforces their belief that they can do whatever they want as long as they work at it. It was a general problem in all of the schools we surveyed, and we wanted to make sure young deaf people have the support and advice they are entitled to.

“Be like the people you see on the video, work hard so you can achieve your dreams and don’t be afraid to speak up and say what you need.”

Ida, who is 15 and from Cornwall, said: “We felt there was a lack of careers support for deaf young people, and based on our own experiences we wanted to change that. My message to deaf young people watching this is please, please, please don’t let your deafness hold you back. If my younger self watched this video I would be in a much more accepting place regarding my deafness, and much sooner.”

Steve Haines, Director of Policy and Campaigns at the National Deaf Children’s Society, said: “There are more than 50,000 deaf children and young people across the UK. They have incredible skills, so much potential, and the capacity to have a brilliant future ahead of them. We’re launching this campaign to show there are limitless possibilities for what they can achieve, no limit on what journey they can pursue, and to shatter the myth that deaf people can’t do certain jobs in the 21st century.”

“This is just the start of the journey though – we’re going to build a movement to broaden aspirations, challenge employers to be more accessible and make sure that every deaf young person has the support they need when they move into work.”

Speaking about the process for creating the campaign, Phoebe Hainsworth, Red Bee Creative’s Campaign Planner, said: “Deaf Works Everywhere sets the standard for collaborative campaign design. From inception right through to execution we worked openly with the National Deaf Children’s Society team and our audience of deaf young people, to create a campaign whose empowering message and bold tone is ‘with them’ not ‘for them’.  We couldn’t be more proud of the end result and the positive feedback from user testing.”

Charlie Mawer, Executive Creative Director at Red Bee Creative, added: “To create the launch film, and our striking brand design, we worked with a broad community of talented deaf professionals. We wanted a proud, bold and authentic celebration of diverse achievements – one that could be an inspiring baton-pass to the next generation of deaf young people.”

Source: National Deaf Children’s Society

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