Sussex Deaf History
The Sussex Deaf History website was formed from the Our Space project led by University of Sussex, RAD and academics from Occupational Therapy and Deaf Studies. It was funded by HEFCE under the Community and University Partnership Programme (CUPP). The archive website was formed as a means to record the histories of the Deaf community in Sussex, which is often left unrecorded. Consequently, Deaf people now have greater access recording, publishing and archiving their histories by text, picture or video.
The developments in technology to record and publish video, accessible to the wider public, gives Deaf people a route to record their ‘words’ in British Sign Language (BSL). This website is the first step to create that archive.
The most notable inclusions in the website are: first deaf school in Brighton; first Deaf person to hold a PhD; first president of the British Deaf and Dumb Association; back editions of the Deaf Sussex Today magazine; Princess of Wales, Diana, and the BDA’s centenary congress; 2001 march for the Recognition of BSL; holiday camps; Deaf pubs: Regency Tavern; Punch and Judy club; Our Space meetings; and events.
The next phase for the website will explore education in the 1970’s as documented in the film, A Base of a Spiral (1972), which recorded deaf children in three schools: Hamilton Lodge School, Ovingdean Hall School and St. Thomas School for the Deaf. We will be using oral history interviews to identify the children in the film and explore education at the time. This will be archived at the Sussex Deaf History website. This new development is part of the Hidden Histories project led by the Centre for Community Engagement at the University of Sussex.