Deaf in the Covid Aftermath

A project funded by the National Lottery Community Fund

Lead: Gloucestershire Deaf Association
Partners: Centre for Deaf People, Bristol Deaf Studies Trust

February 2023
For a transcript of this video – please click here


We know about the deaf community from our national research e.g. Deaf People in the Community (1997-2002), BSL Access in Scotland (2007), and Deaf Health (2014. We know about problems of deaf people trying to reach health and social services and about quality of life. But all of that was before the pandemic. The pandemic stopped deaf people’s gatherings, reduced their person-to-person interaction and upset their ability to lip-read hearing people who were wearing masks. We need to know more about the damage to community life. Deaf in the Covid Aftermath Project will collect deaf views from interviews so that we can rebuild community life and set up new services.

What we will do

We will carry out a qualitative and quantitative interview programme to reach a target 120 deaf people in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire and Bristol. We choose BSL-users to match age, gender, ethnic background, location in the general population. All of our interviews are in BSL with deaf researchers and we analyse in sign language. We hope to have diaries of every day deaf life in 2023 and also to ask questions about extent of contact with, and effectiveness of, services supplied by deaf agencies.

The Outcomes

It is not just the effects of the pandemic, there are also big worries about inflation and costs of food and petrol and paying your bills. This affects vulnerable people most. We believe it is harder for deaf people relying on visual communication and person to person interaction. The extent of the problems can be estimated but to deliver services and to re-enable a community, we need hard facts and better evidence of daily life and community needs. This project is the first fully deaf oriented examination of these issues. Its outcome will be a new understanding of deaf people and will allow us to meet deaf people’s needs. We can begin to work towards fulfilling deaf people’s hopes for the future.

Gloucestershire Deaf Association
Colin Road, Barnwood, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL4 3JL
For more information contact us by email:

What our clients say about us:

graphic of a speech bubble

Two exceptionally pleasant and helpful people – a pleasure to meet and my new doorbell is a great help. Thank you very much.

Graphic of two hands using sign language

…I was very satisfied with the service. The two staff were professional and easy to communicate with. They were able to explain everything clearly and quickly gave me the replacement equipment.