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February 20, 2004

Deaf children's charity taps E3 Media for multimedia task

From: Digital Bulletin, UK - Feb 20, 2004

Staff, Brand Republic

LONDON - The National Deaf Children's Society has appointed E3 Media following a three-way pitch to develop a new multimedia CD-rom resource for parents of deaf children.

Part funded by a family support grant from the Home Office, the 'Parenting a Deaf Child' CD-rom includes tips from 34 parents on raising deaf children.

The project is part of a wider three-year campaign of activities to provide support to parents of deaf children, including parenting training days and a telephone peer support service, which will be launched over the course of the next two years.

The campaign follows a report by the NDCS that surveyed 1,300 parents of deaf children. The report found that there is no source of information in the UK or internationally on bringing up children who are deaf.

It also found that there were six key areas where parents consistently found difficulties raising their children including: supporting developing language and communication; helping children mix with others; and warning children of danger.

These six areas are reflected in the structure of the new CD-rom, which will take the format of a series of filmed interviews with parents, supported by subtitles and sign language.

Five-thousand copies of the CD-rom will be distributed via the NDCS's network of regional groups and family support workers. It will also be available on the charity's Listening Bus -- a mobile technology display that tours the country -- and distributed at training events and exhibitions.

Kirsteen Coupar, parent project manager from the NDCS, said: "There are 35,000 deaf children with profound or severe hearing loss in the UK and every year 840 deaf babies are born, and 90% of these will grow up in hearing families. As there is very little information available to parents, this project is designed to help them cope with the very tough challenges of raising a deaf child."

E3 Media was also behind a CD-rom developed on behalf of the Royal National Institute for the Deaf. Launched last year, it is aimed at teaching sign language to friends and relatives of deaf people.

E3 Media director Matt Ramsay said: "Our experience of developing the CD-rom for the RNID has been extremely valuable. This is a very rewarding area and we are pleased to be involved in producing what will be a vital resource for deaf children and their families."

© 2004 Digital Bulletin