The BDA Northern Ireland are pleased to announce that they have been awarded £348,934 for their Deaf Roots and Pride Project through the Big Lottery Fund (NI).

This project is aimed at Deaf Children and Young People, aged between 8-20 years, who are significantly more likely to disengage from education than their hearing peers.

The BDA Northern Ireland aims to improve this situation by empowering these young people by giving them opportunities and skills which would allow them to fully participate in a peer mentoring scheme and thereby improving their well-being and self-pride.

The BDA Northern Ireland will train young adults, aged 18+, to become role models and mentors for their peers, or the younger generations of Deaf children; whilst the 90% of parents who are hearing, but have Deaf children will benefit:

Parents – of Deaf child who is now a young adult, said:

"...wish that my child had access to sign language & culture at a much earlier stage as I believe that would have significantly improved their educational experiences, self worth & identity as a Deaf person and led to better educational achievements."

Majella McAteer, BDA Northern Ireland's Business Development Manager, said:

“This initiative is so inspiring, challenging and innovative that the BDA are looking forward to seeing the changes and results that Deaf people can make through gaining knowledge of Deaf hood and achieving their full potential. This will enable them to become active members of their community, supporting other young people as they themselves have been supported."