DeafKidz is an interactive and accessible digital platform designed to educate young deaf children on how to stay safe online.
Why it’s necessary
Deaf children are three times more likely to be abused and exploited than hearing children. With global internet access on the rise, victims of online abuse and exploitation will rise as well. After extensive research, we found that there was a lack of safeguarding resources specifically for deaf children.
We want to empower deaf children, giving them confidence to keep safe. That means not engaging with something if it makes them feel uncomfortable, saying no, and seeking help. DeafKidz Defenders is our way of making it fun, interactive and inclusive.
How DeafKidz Defenders Works
We created a platform with seven themed games. These use body language, gestures and facial expressions to convey in a visual, non-auditory way.
The themed games are:
- Trusted adults
- Saying stop
- Keeping secrets
- Private body parts
- Cyber bullying
- Indecent pictures and videos
- Online grooming
As well as being fun, the games build a foundation of skills and reinforce the concepts, focusing on staying safe online. The materials are intended for use in schools, and come with a guide for teachers which includes lessons plans to accompany the online information.
How DeafKidz Defenders started
We were able to develop this ground-breaking, first-of-its-kind resource thanks to a funding award from the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children.
We developed the resources with expert support from child protection officers, digital specialists and deaf teachers. And in 2022, we piloted the programme in South Africa and Pakistan, with great results and feedback!
Watch our video about the Pakistan pilot
Watch our video about the South Africa pilot
“I have played a lot of games online, but they were confusing as they were for hearing people. With DK Defenders, I feel safe and prepared to deal with any challenge. I will protect my sister and friends also and teach them!”
“Introducing games to support education for deaf children was a masterstroke!“
Where DeafKidz Defenders can be used
DeafKidz Defenders is suitable for use in schools worldwide, including in countries with limited internet bandwidth. It’s currently available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, and soon to be in Urdu, Hindi and Arabic.
DK Defenders has received a fantastic response so far from the children, schools and parents who have used it in South Africa and Pakistan. Knowing that Defenders has helped to improve deaf children’s understanding, confidence, belonging and engagement reinforces the success and importance of this resource!
Take part or find out more
Want to find out more? Get in touch, we would love to speak with you.