Welcome to Deafhood Genetics

Hello! Welcome to the website, Deafhood and Genetics.

The website is part of a research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust and run by the Centre for Deaf Studies, at the University of Bristol. We believe the project to be the UK’s first ever Deaf-designed and led social science research.

The Website was created in 2010 as part of the research project Deafhood and Genetics. All the information and outcomes can be found on this website. All information on the findings and all the news items are in BSL.

The aim of the research was to study Deaf people’s concerns about developments in genetic technology and society. The researchers investigated Deaf and hearing peoples’ fears that, if left unchecked, genetic technology could encourage the development of eugenicist social policies.

For example, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (2008) means that couples who wish to try and ensure deaf genes are not passed on when they want a family, now have the support of the law for this. There are real fears that laws like these will be extended as genetic technology develops.

In 2022, rapid developments in genetic technology since the project ended mean the bioethical questions these developments raise for deaf people remain relevant today.