The Benefits of Youth Summer Programs for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Posted by Rachella Moore on 2/19/2021 4:00:00 PM

Have you wondered about the outcomes when young people who are deaf or hard of hearing participate in extracurricular summer activities? A great study from the National Deaf Center (NDC), Deaf Youth and Summer Programs: The Why and How, reveals some interesting findings that highlight the impacts shown for many who attend summer youth camps and educational programs.

The NDC reports that deaf students who attend youth programs do positively benefit, especially  in these three areas of self-development:

Career: Students who participate in any program with targeted goals such as STEM, robotics, creative writing or the like, can be “positively affected through summer programming.” And even further, programs with internship opportunities have shown to promote deaf individuals’ career decision-making skills.

Education: Through participation in a summer learning program, there is a correlation that shows an increase in college enrollment as well as an increased motivation to complete college. Improvements in reading achievement, reading enjoyment, and math achievement are also reported.

Youth: Self-esteem and self-confidence are commonly seen when younger campers, as well as those who may be economically disadvantaged, attend a youth camp or summer learning program. These opportunities have shown to foster the development of students’ social skills, self-identities, values, spiritual awareness, self-reliance, and more.

Concluding with an abundance of positive outcomes for deaf and hard of hearing youth, opportunities to extend learning for students through the summer months is a good thing.

If ever in a position to establish and sustain a youth program for students who are deaf and hard of hearing in your area, even for the summer only, our recommendations align with NDC‘s findings, and we encourage you to go for it!

Some ideas we’ve found which are of interest to students who are deaf and hard of hearing:

  • Establish a Junior National Association Deaf chapter
  • Start a conversation with a school’s robotics team and make it a mainstreamed program
  • Contact an “already-established” program and make it accessible for those who are deaf and hard of hearing


© 2019 “Deaf Youth and Summer Programs: The Why and How. National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes Deaf Youth and Summer Programs licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International