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Deaf life narratives in times of transition: Towards a cross-cultural instrument for life story telling


This project explores the potential of storytelling, a culturally familiar practice in sign language communities, as a means of promoting agency, resilience and well being. It concerns BSL (British Sign Language) signers, including UK deaf natives and deaf migrants from diverse nation states who may use other signed languages as well. Using techniques of narrative therapy, narrative analysis and grounded theory, the project investigates how life story work can enhance deaf people’s well being from a cross-cultural perspective. This research results in an instrument that explores the visual learning strengths of deaf people and the properties of visual (non-textual) languages through digital media. It extends current research on emancipation methodologies within critical deaf epistemologies and on narrative methods as a form of cultural brokering. The study also directly addresses the need for culturally appropriate means of improving deaf well being. 


Deaf life stories: Research participants needed

I am looking for deaf/hard of hearing migrants and refugees in the UK to take part in a research project about life story telling. If you take part, you will make your own ‘life story book’ (with pictures, and signed stories).

You can learn more about the project through the videos and the poster. You can also contact me.


We will need deaf/hard of hearing people who are born in the UK to participate in October 2016

Duration of the project

1 November 2015 - 31 October 2017

Funding body

European Commission H2020 - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship

Members of the project

Name Role
Dr Goedele De Clerck Principal investigator

Visit the project facebook pages for a British Sign Language and International Sign version and further updates: