The Deaf Project at the Muslim Youth Foundation (MYF) pioneering endeavour that began in 2001. Initially the project was established to cater for Deaf Muslims. There was evidence of a need for facilitating social networks for Deaf Muslims, to provide mutual support plus opportunities to reinforce their sense of identity through educational and cultural programmes. Another identified need was the development of resources to cater for the religious/ cultural needs of Deaf Muslims.
The activities and services provided to the Deaf community of Manchester so far include:
- Social activities
- Educational classes
- A loop system on the MYF premises
- Text phone service at MYF
The MYF established an open group of Deaf Muslims as core respondents for the activities that we initiate. This group takes part in our social activities such as camps and celebrations such as Eid parties plus education sessions to foster their sense of self-identity and self esteem (these sessionsÂ are attended by approximately 30 Deaf Muslims from BME backgrounds).
In the summer of 2004 the MYF organised a camp in Wales for the Deaf Group. The activities of this camp included rock climbing, dry slope skiing, canoeing, hiking and much more. We found that this camp was much appreciated by our Muslim Deaf Group. In July 2008 we facilitated a small group of Deaf BME to attend a major Muslim family camp in Lincolnshire which wasl attended by approximately 2000 Muslims, this gave the group the opportunity to interact with other Deaf BME from around the country plus hearing Muslims thus facilitating integration into the wider Muslim community.
Other programmes organised for the Deaf Group over the last few years include a trip to Old Trafford Football club, a theatre visit (BSL theatre performance “Scrooge”), an Eid Parties and a community cohesion event. The community cohesion event was called “Diversity, Equality & Rights” consisting of an interactive worship plus a presentation by N.Khan Moghal (Chief Executive of Manchester Council for Community Relations).
In order to make general gatherings and occasions more accessible to hard of hearing Muslims and in Manchester, the MYF also invested in an induction loop system. This is in accordance to the Disability Discrimination Act (2004) that made it a legal requirement for all service providers, including religious institutions and schools, to make provisions for the hard of hearing. MYF has also invested in a text phone service in order to make long distance communication easier between ourselves and Deaf contacts the MYF also. This system allows the MYF to send and receive extended text messages to multiple recipients.