About Us

The Invisible Olympic Games Project

Recording memories and experiences for future generations.

DEAFS – Deaf English Athletics Federation Staffordshire – increasing sports and social interaction for those that are deaf, deafblind, disabled, their friends and families.

Our Project

DEAFS has secured HLF funding, for a heritage project that will collect valuable resources in the forms of video interviews and photographic images of artefacts for future use in education, research and cultural enjoyment. Along with the heritage benefits, people will have the opportunity to develop skills in media and community engagement, volunteer their time and learn more about the heritage of the deaf communities involvement of the Deaflympics. By creating volunteering opportunities, more people and a wider range of people will have engaged with heritage and gained a greater knowledge of previous and future Deaflympics

The Deaflympics is the second oldest multi national sporting events only next to the Olympics. However, it is also the least known multi national sporting event compared to the Olympics and the Paralympics. The Deaflympics have become the Invisible Olympic Games and risk having all the rich heritage from participants disappearing forever. Our project is intended to retrieve and restore this rich heritage not only for deaf people but for none deaf people. We want to collect historical information and promote the Deaflympics as well through undertaking film interviews with previous Deaflympians who will present their experiences through British Sign Language and their preferred communication methods as well. The project will translate the outcome also into written text. Previously in the absence of media technology, this important historical information had not been recorded and so far many of these rich history are being lost as previous Deaflympians pass away.

Project Aims

The project aims are to record and collect memories and experiences from previous Deaflympics (initially known as the Silent Games, then the World Games of the Deaf). the games are the second oldest multinational sporting championships only next to the Olympic Games, yet the Deaflympics are the least known of all the current Major worldwide sporting championships.The project is keen to retrieve, sort, develop and enhance knowledge of the Deaflympics. The historical experiences, knowledge, memories and artefacts from previous Deaflympians as far back as we can identifiy will be the aims of this heritage project so that these valuable heritage resources can be collected and stored in specialist settings such as at the Film Archive and shared widely through distributions to as many deaf and non deaf organisations as possible. Also, the output would be made accessible online in the websites and also in the form of an interactive magazine, which will have a brief description of all the interviewees that take part in the project..


Why is the project needed?

The project will address the needs of Deaf Sports men and women. Deaf sports people are not part of the Paralympics and so they are invisible to the general public. Furthermore, deaf sports people are the least promoted in the public media and receive less funding from general sponsorship and many government bodies due to not being part of the Paralympics. This project aims to address these disadvantages and to raise awareness, hopefully in the long term the project will enable some degree of equality of opportunities to be bestowed on deaf sports and on deaf sports people. This project wants to collect these valuable heritage resources from previous Deaflympians before they all pass away. We have already lost some valuable heritage resources from previous Deaflympians who were not interviewed and so we have no information about their experiences.

Online Resources

Project eBook

The Invisible Olympic Games Project eBook will be available for purchase sometime in 2020

Deaf People & Paralympics Report

Why are Deaf people not in the Paralympics?

Video Memories

Memories and Experiences of the World Games for the Deaf and Deaflympics.

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