Schools for the Deaf: Importance for Deaf People

  • Awarded to: Hannah Anglin-Jaffe
  • Funding Awarded to Exeter: £ 7,190
  • Dates: 1 August 2011 - 31 August 2014
  • Sponsor(s): British Academy

What is this project about?

The aim of this project is to collect data about the importance of schools for the deaf for Deaf people. The data will be used to evaluate the way that deaf children are currently educated.

Traditionally many deaf children were educated in separate boarding schools rather than in their local, mainstream school. These schools became a focus for the Deaf community. They were places where deaf people could learn sign language and meet other people who were deaf. However, from the 1970s onwards these schools were criticised for having low standards and for isolating deaf people. Many schools began to close. However, some members of the Deaf community protested each time a school was threatened with closure.

What will happen in this project?

This project will interview Deaf adults who were educated in schools for the deaf for all or part of their schooling. A British Sign Language interpreter will be available during interviews (if appropriate). The interviews will be video-recorded if permission is granted.

Participants will be asked about their experiences at school. Questions will be about:

  • The Deaf community inside and outside the school
  • Deaf identity
  • Sign language use in the school
  • Standards of teaching and learning
  • Connections to society outside of school

Participants will be asked about how important they think schools for the deaf are for deaf children.

Who is carrying out this research?

This project is being carried out by Hannah Anglin-Jaffe. Hannah is a Lecturer at the University of Exeter. She teaches and does research about Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. She is interested in how we can improve the education of Deaf children. She is not Deaf herself but an interpreter will be available during interviews. Hannah is also a governor at the Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education. You can find out more about Hannah here.


All data collected will be confidential. Identities will be protected and names and details of individuals will be kept confidential. The names, details and reputations of individual schools will also be protected. The data will be kept safe until the project is over and then it will be destroyed. The findings of the research will be presented at conferences and published in academic journals. At any point in the research participants may choose to withdraw from the project if they do not want to take part anymore.

If you have any questions about this project please email Hannah

More information for Schools for the Deaf.