Wave 1 – Report 2020
Some implications of early findings
The READY study was commissioned by NDCS to understand the risk and protective factors in deaf young people successfully transitioning to autonomous adulthood, happiness, and making a meaningful contribution to society that is satisfying to them. Such evidence is required for the provision of effective support and intervention for deaf young people and their families.
At this very early stage in the READY study a picture is starting to emerge of the central significance of health, well-being and well developed social networks. Those with positive well-being, higher self-determination and good health are achieving well, have good social networks, feel less lonely, and are confident about future employment.
Nonetheless, overall this group of young deaf people are not reaching comparable levels of these components as those in the general population. Lower health index levels and self-assessment of general health is puzzling as there has been little focus on this in the past separate from mental health. Degree of deafness is not a major explanatory factor in this complex picture but higher socio-economic status is conferring some advantages with regard to well-being and richer social networks. The relationship with educational attainment, work and training will become clearer with the next wave of data collection.
Language profiles of this new generation of deaf young people are complex and binary categorisations of deaf young people as spoken language users or sign language users are not reflective of their life experience. How their language preferences and proficiencies change over time will be a fascinating element of being able to follow up the group longitudinally and in real time as they transition to adulthood.
Future steps in the study include some peer to peer interviews with a group of 50 young people in the cohort by young deaf co-inquirers who have been trained and are working alongside the research team. This will enable deeper exploration of some of the early patterns we are observing.
Further annual updates will follow in due course.
If you want to join The READY Study, please complete this survey