Site Visit: National Deaf Children's Society

The charity developed a new website to enable more deaf children to meet each other

National Deaf Children's Society's Buzz website
National Deaf Children's Society's Buzz website

Agency: 4T2

Spend: Undisclosed

Accessibility: BSL sign language and subtitling

The National Deaf Children's Society aims to remove barriers that prevent deaf children from achieving.

Development

A NDCS consultation with 1,500 deaf nine to 18-year-olds in 2007 revealed that 90 per cent wanted more opportunities to meet other deaf children. The charity thought the best way to achieve this was with a website, so it started consulting on what such a site should offer 14 months ago.

The young people the organisation spoke to said there should be separate sites for different age groups, so two new ones were launched this summer, each called The Buzz. The name was chosen by deaf sixth-form students.

Design and content

The charity's main site includes a link to The Buzz, which directs visitors to either the site for eight to 11-year-olds ('children') or the one for 12 to 18-year-olds ('young people'). Both sites are colourful, and videos have subtitles and sign language. The site was changed during the design phase, when young people said it should be more dynamic.

Special features

The site's main achievement is that it connects young deaf people with each other. So far, 500 have signed up as members and there have been 1,500 unique visitors. Members can create their own avatars and profiles. There are interactive games and a page on the 12-to-18 site that includes a map showing where events for deaf young people are taking place.

NDCS says:

"The website was created for and by deaf young people. It is the UK's first online space for them."

SCORE

Navigation: 2

Accessibility: 4

Innovation: 4

Content: 3

Total: 13 out of 20.

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