Monday 16th April 2012
Old films kept for generations by a charity could be used to help develop people's awareness of deaf heritage.
The British Deaf Association (BDA) has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its Heritage Picture House project.
The three-year scheme aims to circulate knowledge and ideas gleaned from movies stored by the BDA to raise awareness of the deaf community's heritage. It is hoped it will also improve deaf people's understanding of their own history.
By winning initial HLF support, the charity has been awarded £64,800 to develop its plans and must apply for a full grant within two years. It is hoped the final project will coincide with the BDA's 125th anniversary celebrations in 2015.
In the three-part project, the BDA wants to first create an online resource of archive clips by remastering its old film reels, some of which date back to the 1930s.
Secondly, it wants to collect 50 testimonies and interviews from deaf community members, academics and historians.
Finally, it wants to create UK-wide learning and educational outreach programme to showcase the knowledge gained from the research phases.
David Buxton, chief executive officer of the BDA, said: "We believe this is an important time to reach out to older deaf people and record their stories.
"It is so important that deaf children and future generations should be able to access this wealth of heritage so they can embrace their own history, culture, language and identity."