Latest News

World Hearing Day 2021

Today marks World Hearing Day 2021 and the World Health Organisation’s theme this year is ‘Hearing Care for All’, launching the WHO World Report on Hearing and presenting a global call for action to address hearing loss and ear diseases across the life course.

The World Federation of the Deaf is also raising awareness of Sign Languages on World Hearing Day today, asking all “Let’s Remember to Sign!” because national sign languages are important for everyone!

DeafKidz International supports both these important messages of Hearing Care for All and Let’s Remember to Sign. Our global programmes are ensuring deaf children, children and adults have access to ear and hearing care, education and support services, all in their communication mode of choice. To celebrate World Hearing Day 2021 we are delighted to share updates on our work in Zambia and Pakistan.

Zambia – Local outreach screening

On World Hearing Day, our audiology teams in Zambia are carrying out awareness, screening and remote hearing aid fittings in local schools and communities, to raise awareness of ear and hearing care and the importance of ear identification and support for deaf children and adults. The teams are able to provide remote screening using the sound-proof booths in our fully equipped mobile ear clinics, as part of our wider 3 year ear and hearing care project in Zambia, funded by Jersey Overseas Aid and in collaboration with the Zambia Ministry of Health.

Our audiology team at University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka travelled to Kotaba Health Centre and screened 22 people for hearing loss, fitting 4 people with hearing aids, and the audiology team at Arthur Davison Children’s Hospital in Ndola visited Kabwate School, and screened 48 children for hearing loss. These outreach trips have been delivered with smaller groups to adhere to local safety protocols and guidelines in place for Covid-19.

Pakistan – Parenting Support Videos

With schools closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been working with our local partner Deaf Reach to develop parenting support videos in PSL (Pakistan Sign Language) and Urdu, aimed at providing parents of deaf children with much-needed basic life skills to support them and their child’s health and wellbeing during this challenging time at home.

Deaf Reach has provided deaf students with laptops and online resources so that vital education and communication is not lost. These parenting support videos are enabling parents the opportunity to continue to access the support that would usually be offered in person within the Deaf Reach parenting support programme. The videos will be shared to parents of 1200 pupils across the 7 Deaf Reach campuses in Pakistan and focus on Good Eating and Wellness; Basic ear care; Basic hygiene and Menstruation.

Boldspace appointed to drive DKI’s PR and Campaigning

The DeafKidz and Boldspace logo's

We are delighted to share the news that DeafKidz International has appointed Boldspace, a brand strategy and communications agency, to help raise our profile and drive our PR and Campaigns.

We are thrilled to be working with Boldspace to help raise wider awareness of the important work we do and to ensure the protection and safeguarding of deaf children is included in mainstream conversations about child protection globally.

Kavita Prasad, our CEO explains:

“We exist to ensure deaf children and young people live safely and without fear of abuse and exploitation. We will not rest until we have ended the appalling abuse deaf children face around the world. We want to empower deaf children and young people living in some of the most challenging situations, and create a platform for them to succeed, ensuring no deaf child is left behind. We are delighted to be working with Boldspace to tell our story and help us make this a reality.”

Mike Robb, Co-founder and Managing Director of Boldspace, said:

“The abuse and exploitation of deaf children in many parts of the world is simply shocking and not something any of us could have imagined to be the case before speaking to Kavita and her team. The international community must understand the scale of the issue faced by deaf children; we must do more to bring an end to the exploitation and abuse faced by so many. We can’t wait to work with DeafKidz to drive action.”

Read more here

New Intelligence Briefing published: ‘The Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Deaf and Disabled Children Online’ – Join our Webinar on 24/02/2021

This new intelligence briefing acts as a situational analysis of current perspectives and evidence on the sexual exploitation and abuse of children with disabilities online. DeafKidz International compiled this paper in partnership with WePROTECT Global Alliance and Childhood USA.

Read the paper here

The paper includes practical recommendations for the global child protection community on how to improve access to services and support for children with disabilities and to better protect them from sexual exploitation and abuse online.

Join our webinar on 24/02/2021, 16:00- 17:30 GMT

Childhood USA + WePROTECT Global Alliance, DeafKidz International and the End Violence Against Children Partnership cordially invite you to join the webinar release of the latest WePROTECT Intelligence Brief – The sexual exploitation and abuse of deaf and disabled children online.

The webinar will present the findings from our new intelligence briefing with a panel discussion of this often neglected topic.

Panelists include:

  • Iain Drennan, Executive Director, WePROTECT Global Alliance
  • Howard Taylor Executive Director, Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children
  • Maria Grazia Zedda Trustee, DeafKidz International
  • Sofiya Kalinova Chair of Human Rights Expert Group, World Federation of the Deaf

 

Register for the webinar here

The webinar will take place via Zoom and will include American and British Sign Language and International Sign Interpretation as well as closed captioning.

Front of invitation to the event

Back of invitation to the event

Calling all DeafKidz Heroes: Give a gift this Christmas to support deaf children worldwide

Photograph of Santa flying above a snowy sceneThis Christmas you can be a DeafKidz Hero!

Please support us with a gift this Christmas – you can select your gift on our interactive Santa Present Drop fundraising page here: https://visufund.com/deafkidz

2020 has been a difficult year for small charities like ours, and we need your help now more than ever to support deaf children worldwide.

Our work at DeafKidz International ensures deaf children are able to live safely and without fear of abuse and exploitation. Our global projects respond to the protection, health, wellbeing and access to education needs of deaf children, young people and adults worldwide.

This year, please make a donation to support our life-changing work. Why not swap your Secret Santa present for a thoughtful gift supporting deaf children instead? You can make a gift in your colleague’s, friend’s or family’s name, leave a special message and they will be sent an e-card to see your kind present!

Your support means so much to us during this challenging time, and will ensure no deaf child is left behind this Christmas. Thank you.

Click here to give a Christmas Gift today!

Responding to the Online Protection Needs of Disabled children

WeProtect Global Alliance logo along with the DeafKidz International logo

A WeProtect Global Alliance Briefing Paper

The term disability mean different things to different people. Our perspective will depend on the meanings and feelings we attach to disability. Regrettably due to ignorance and fear, often these feelings will be negative reflecting the shame and fear of difference. These negative attitudes will focus on the child’s disability as opposed to their true personality and abilities.

For those who choose to perpetrate online abuse, a child’s or young person’s disability makes them easy prey; easy to corner, groom, stream and abuse. If as a result of your deafness or disability, you are excluded from education, you will often lack the means – the vocabulary and language – to recognise that through digital technologies, you are being abused; you will lack the means to self-represent, to self-assert and say ‘No!’. Furthermore, you lack the means to report and to disclose.

The evidence that deaf and disabled children experience endemic stigma, discrimination, abuse and exploitation is overwhelming. The evidence that they are subject to online abuse is less clear. Certainly there are some documented instances, but DeafKidz International takes the view that this is an area that the global child protection community has failed to explore and this gap in knowledge and response must be addressed.

One in three internet users worldwide is a child. At any one time, 750,000 individuals are estimated to be looking to connect with children for sexual purposes. WeProtect’s 2019 Global Threat Assessment reported that 94% of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) found online by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) contains images of children aged 13 or under; 39% were images of children 10 and under. With the WHO reporting that 15% of the world’s population ‘is living with some form of disability, with up to 20% of this population living in low resource settings’, the size of this issue cannot be underestimated. Here we have a huge grouping of deaf and disabled children and young people who will invariably have poor self-esteem and body-image. Negative attitudes also determine whether deaf and disabled learners are excluded from education and / or sexuality education. Without knowledge of sexuality and safe behaviours there is clearly an increased risk of abuse.

Commissioned by the WeProtect Global Alliance, this all new briefing paper will see DeafKidz International consult with the global disability community to ascertain their experience of online abuse. In addition, we will consult across the WeProtect membership to document what the INGO community is doing to counter this abuse.

The findings will be published in February 2021 and presented to the Alliance and other global child protection stakeholders at an accessible Webinar.

DeafKidz International wishes to access (not an exhaustive list):

  • Examples of online child protection response frameworks and mechanisms as developed by the membership, and how these related to children with disabilities disabled children
  • Examples of any digital mitigation strategies created specifically for safeguarding children with disabilities
  • Evidence and examples of how children with disabilities are included in ‘stay safe online’ programmes targeted at children and youth, including initiatives by tech companies
  • Recommendations on how the particular challenges faced by children with disabilities can be addressed and mitigated
  • Recommends in gaps in knowledge in relation to children with disabilities and online abuse.

Please send submissions to [email protected] and [email protected] by 30 November 2020.

Announcement of DeafKidz International as End Violence Safe Online Grant Winner

We are thrilled to announce that DeafKidz International is a winner of End Violence Against Children’s Safe Online funding round. We are joining forces with 14 organisations in the global fight to end online abuse and exploitation of children.

One in three internet users worldwide is a child. With the global increase in access to the internet, brings a rise in online abuse and exploitation. Deaf children are at least three times more likely to be abused than hearing children. At any one time, 750,000 individuals are estimated to be looking to connect with children for sexual purposes.

Through this funding, DeafKidz International will develop DeafKidz Defenders, an early intervention, interactive, accessible digital platform to help deaf children aged 5 to 10 stay safe from online abuse and exploitation.

Through these educational games, deaf children will learn to protect themselves from online and face to face abuse, learning what a risk situation might look like, what’s appropriate/inappropriate in different situations, building a foundation of increased knowledge and awareness. These games will reduce deaf children’s vulnerability to abuse and exploitation while also promoting their resilience and self-advocacy. This project will be implemented in South Africa and Pakistan.

This digital solution is the first of its kind and is a huge step forward in our fight to keep deaf children safe.

We are grateful to End Violence Against Children for their investment in our organisation and the impact it will have on deaf children worldwide, to ensure every deaf child can live safely and without fear of online abuse and exploitation.

Read the full announcement from End Violence Against Children here

Watch this space for regular updates on this exciting project – follow us on social media here

Played our DEAFKIDZ vs COVID-19 games? Please help us by completing our survey!

DEAFKIDZ vs COVID-19 online games logoIn May 2020 we launched our DEAFKIDZ vs COVID-19 online interactive games, designed specifically for young deaf children to understand COVID-19 protective measures including social distancing, hand-washing and not touching the face.

We’ve had lots of engagement with the DEAFKIDZ vs COVID-19 games and we invite you to help us evaluate this excellent resource if you have played the games.

There are there questionnaires so please select the one that suits you best.

Please click one of the 3 options below to take a survey on our DEAFKIDZ vs COVID-19 games:

Questionnaire for Children

Questionnaire for Parents/Carers & Teachers

Questionnaire for Organisations

As a deaf organisation we really appreciate you completing this questionnaire as this information will be useful in providing feedback to our funders, and will assist in justifying both the creation of the game in this format, and the need for further resources in a similar format specifically for deaf children in the future. By taking part in this survey, you are helping DeafKidz International to make better resources in the future.

Thank you!

New Comic Relief Project delivering BSL workshops for deaf children

We are thrilled to announce a brand new project funded by Comic Relief delivering a series of online workshops for deaf children on drama, creative art, keeping fit and storytelling, led by deaf trainers in British Sign Language (BSL) & working with Action Deafness.

The Action Deafness, DeafKidz International, and Funded by Comic Relief logos

The situation with COVID-19 has meant that schools have been closed for several months now, limiting activities available for deaf children who can easily become isolated and fed up, negatively affecting their mental well-being.

So, funded by Comic Relief, DeafKidz International and Action Deafness have joined to deliver an exciting, interactive, fun, summer online programme, of activities (‘Action DeafKidz!’), for deaf children aged 7-15.

For 5 weeks between 3rd August to 7th September we will deliver online interactive activities, covering 4 main themes: Keeping Fit; Creative Arts; Drama; and BSL Storytelling led by deaf trainers and role models in BSL.

Please email [email protected] if you are a deaf trainer or have deaf children age 7-15 who would like to attend the summer programme.

The Action DeafKidz Logo

Launch of DEAFKIDZ vs COVID-19 online games

DeafKidz vs COVID-19 Games logo
DeafKidz International is delighted to announce the launch of our brand new DEAFKIDZ vs COVID-19 online games!

In these strange and challenging times of COVID-19, we are all concerned about how to stay safe. Although there are resources available explaining COVID-19, how it affects us, and how to minimise the spread of the virus, none have been developed in consultation with Deaf children and with their specific communication and information needs central. Yet, Deaf children, like all children, should be empowered to stay safe and to reduce their risk to infection and transmission, based on informed choice and safe behaviours.

Click here to read more and play the games!

Joint Statement from WFD, WFDYS and DeafKidz International

Responding to the Safeguarding and Protection Needs of Deaf Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic

WFD, WFDYS and DeafKidz International logos

The Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global health crisis impacting communities around the world. Click below to read the joint statement from the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), the WFD Youth Section (WFDYS) and DeafKidz International.

Click here to read the joint statement


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