School Name: Our Lady's College, Drogheda, Co. Louth
Project Name: Actions Speak Louder than Words
Award: Making Our Country More Inclusive and Poverty Free Challenge
Award presented by Joan Burton TD, Minister for Social Protection.
The team decided to focus on the topic of deafness after a team member shared the experience of her deaf cousin who has an adapted door bell which alerts them to the presence of visitors by flashing lights. The group realised how little they knew about the difficulties faced by the deaf community and decided that they wanted to learn more.
This YSI project had several key goals which were to raise awareness and educate people in the school and wider community about deafness, to encourage schools to become more ‘deaf-friendly’, to make You Tube more accessible for deaf people and to highlight the need for improved newborn hearing screening in Ireland.
The group studied the issue and conducted a survey in their school as well as three other local schools. Over 100 students were surveyed in total and, after analysing the results, they decided that they would launch an awareness campaign in the school. Partnerships were formed with Caroline Carswell, the founder of ‘Irish Deaf Kids’. The organisation provided the group with sponsor cards and the team organised a sponsored silence during which they raised over €400.
An information display stand was put together to inform students in the school about difficulties faced by deaf members of the community. A parent of a deaf child spoke to the group and they found this to be very insightful and helpful. Partnerships were made with LMFM and The Drogheda Leader. A causes page was set up on Facebook and an online petition was created to campaign for improved newborn hearing screening in Ireland. The group created booklets to distribute to schools with information on how schools can be made more 'deaf-friendly'.
They held a subtitling marathon which is still ongoing where they are trying to subtitle as many YouTube videos as possible. At present the team is in contact with the YouTube Sales Development Manager who is giving the group information about how to subtitle videos on YouTube to make YouTube more accessible for the deaf community.
The judges believed this was an “Innovative response to the challenge faced by young deaf people. There is potential to roll out subtitling and texting ideas to a wider audience. Excellent teamwork and presentation.”