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SDYA - Who are we?

Scottish Deaf Youth Association was set up in 2006 because research, which was done a few years ago, showed that many young Deaf people now attend mainstream schools and most of them feel isolated. They have no, or little, contact with other young Deaf people and many of them do not have BSL language skills. With no BSL language skills, this often leads to many young Deaf people being socially excluded from the Deaf world, as well as from the hearing world again due to communication difficulties.

The SDYA has a list of aims it wants to achieve:

  • To reduce isolation of young Deaf people in rural areas, towns and cities, who have little or no contact with other young Deaf people
  • To provide opportunities for young Deaf people to make new friends with other young Deaf people
  • To increase young Deaf people’s self-confidence, experience and personal achievements
  • To improve integration between hearing and young Deaf people
  • To organise regular events for young Deaf people and educate them in Deaf identity, history, culture and language (BSL)
  • To provide Deaf awareness training to the hearing community
  • To enable young Deaf people to access information and services in BSL, their first or preferred language
  • To train young Deaf people to become qualified youth workers.

Below shows what the SDYA has done so far for young Deaf people:

  • many events and activities were organised to encourage integration between hearing and Deaf people (Click on Events for details)
  • BSL taster sessions were provided to different organisations
  • initiative training was given to young Deaf people to raise self confidence and empowerment
  • the Youth Exchange project was set up to enable young Deaf people to visit different countries, and for these countries to visit us
  • the SDYA continues to work with the Scottish Youth Parliament to encourage young Deaf people to have a say in politics
  • links with other organisations working with Deaf people were established
  • this website was developed to enable young Deaf people to access information in BSL, and to keep them updated of events. The website also provides an opportunity for young Deaf people to chat online.