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The context of this research

It is almost as though deaf people do not exist to the mainstream scientific community. Worldwide, they are systematically overlooked in institutional public health research for the simple fact that this research is typically not designed to be able to accurately collect and report data on deaf populations. Large-scale demographic health data often clouds critical issues when deaf people are lumped under the general demographic category of “disabled people.”

To facilitate truly equitable treatment under mainstream public health policy the deaf population needs to be accurately documented. Government and civil society response must include a clear mechanism for the dissemination of science communications to populations utilizing sign languages as a first language.

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Numbers around the world

People with disabilities make up the largest minority group in the world, of which the third largest cause of disability is unaddressed hearing loss. Deafness is known as an "invisible disability," meaning negative health outcomes for the deaf community are often under-reported in mainstream research. When this happens, it prevents these issues from being addressed.  

This puts deaf people's lives at risk by denying them access to life-saving healthcare services, housing, employment, and education.

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1.5 billion+

people experience some form of hearing loss

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1 in 4 people

will be living with some degree of hearing loss by 2050

DEAF

ADULTS

4.6 times

more likely to report difficulty accessing COVID-19 information

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The significance of this research

Data is a powerful tool for fighting systemic inequality. It allows us to direct our efforts to where they are most needed and puts pressure on policy makers to affect change for the better.

Sporadic deaf-specific data collection efforts in various countries have yielded valuable data, and we need to build on these efforts.

We aim to utilize community led approaches, the very people affected by the outcomes of this research will be part of its design.

Global Deaf Research is a groundbreaking transdisciplinary endeavor designed not only to perform sorely-needed research, but valorize our results so that the knowledge gained can be effectively communicated and made available for societal use.

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The goals of this research

Our efforts at each deployment will be focused in three areas:

1 - Characterize and quantify quality of life for members of the deaf community.


2 - Support local efforts by existing deaf organizations to interface with their governments and other non-profits, and connect these organizations to their counterparts abroad.

3 - Create a database of contact information of any individuals outside an existing support structure, and implement an emergency response plan.

Global Deaf Research is a response to a glaring need in the international research community. Millions of deaf people struggle under healthcare policies and practices which systemically overlook their existence.

 

Their stories matter.

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