CFH2a KIT - Engaging with the Deaf Community: Raising awareness of the British Sign Language Translation of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire

Project: Other projectOther internal award

Project Details


The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is a commonly used, brief behavioural screening questionnaire and treatment evaluation measure for 4-16 year olds. It is used to check on emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity/inattention, peer relationships and prosocial behaviours. It exists in several versions to meet the needs of researchers, clinicians and educationalists. 
Through a multidisciplinary research project involving University of York Linguistic research expertise, the SDQ has been translated into British Sign Language (BSL). This was the first such emotional difficulties assessment tool available to children and adolescents in any sign language globally.

Layman's description

This project enabled
- engagement with the Deaf community, through discussions and meetings at local Deaf clubs
- engagement with professionals, through the production of a leaflet and attendance at the conference of the National Deaf Children's Society
- the production of films in British Sign Language, explaining the translation process
- the production of a downloadable leaflet which explains the translation process

Key findings

There are three main impacts of this work:
1. The ​availability of the SDQ in BSL​,the first or preferred language of the Deaf
community in Britain. The SDQ is an important screening tool for children and adolescents. This is the first and only tool available for this purpose, and transforms access to diagnostic tools in mental health for Deaf children, their families and teachers
2. The ​uptake of the SDQ in BSL​, to being used by 9/10 National Deaf Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in England. It is to be adopted as a key performance indicator in the next revision of the National Deaf Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (NDCAMHS) National Service Specification.
3. The​ adoption of the translation process for other sign languages​: American Sign Language (ASL) and Norwegian Sign Language (NTS).
Effective start/end date1/06/1830/09/19


  • P Philology. Linguistics
  • British Sign Language
  • Deafness
  • Health