UK: Little girl Sheila Hadfield and a audiologist adjusting hearing equipment which the girl is wearing. Mediadrumimages/TopFoto/Retronaut

By Alex Jones


FASCINATING black and white photographs from fifties Britain show hearing impaired children undergoing tests at the Department of Education of the Deaf.

UK: A visably upset baby girl sitting in a high chair as psychologist Mr P C Kendall plays on a drum. Mediadrumimages/TopFoto/Retronaut

Remarkable pictures from 1952 show psychologist, Mr P C Kendall, banging a drum near an upset baby girl, a young boy playing with farm animals as he undergoes a hearing assessment, and a 14-month-old child being taught to lipread by her mother.

Another stunning shot shows a little girl fiercely concentrating on her wooden toy as a woman tinkers with the testing equipment in the background.

UK: 4-year-old Brian Lawrence with psychologist Mr P C Kendall and teacher Miss D F Gutteridge. His mother is on right. Tests reveal he only responds to sounds high above the normal level. Mediadrumimages/TopFoto/Retronaut

Before the 1970s, most deaf children in the UK went to residential schools specifically for deaf children.

By the 1960s, deaf schools had already existed for 200 years.

UK: Mr and Mrs John Buckley arrive for a visit to the Department of Education of the Deaf with their daughter Sandra , left, and another child. Mediadrumimages/TopFoto/Retronaut

Deaf children were sponsored to attend a school, usually by a wealthy relative or benefactor.

The conditions in these schools were usually poor and children were poorly fed.

UK: Young Christine Greaterise sitting and playing with a wooden toy and wearing headphones for a hearing assessment. Mediadrumimages/TopFoto/Retronaut

In these schools the children created their own language which eventually evolved into what became known as sign language.

Today, there are more than 50,000 deaf children living in the UK and 32 million deaf children globally. Five babies are born deaf every day.

Ninety per cent of deaf children are born to hearing parents with little or no experience of deafness.