This project aims to inform the development of a standardised starting system that will enhance the equality for deaf athletes in sport. Currently there is no explicit performance pathway or standardised starting system in place for deaf athletes, hindering the accessibility and provision for deaf athletes, thus contradicting the drive towards an egalitarian society.
The project will consist of both qualitative and quantitative methods to create a multidisciplinary evidence-based portfolio. Qualitative methods will include focus groups, case studies and socio-demographic biographies to gain a deeper understanding of: the perceived barriers to deaf sport, the practical needs of a standardised starting system and the talent and performance pathways of deaf athletes. Quantitative methods will include a series of laboratory and field experiments exploring the effects of stimulus quantity, modality and hearing level on athlete’s reaction times to identify the optimal sensory conditions to allow for equal competition across deaf and mainstream athletics. The project is partnered with UK Deaf Sport and England Athletics.