​There are 120,000 hearing impaired people in Uruguay, a country which has a population of just 3 million people. About 30,000 of these people have severe hearing limitations or total deafness, and 12% of them are children and young people.

Lack of appropriated materials in their own language, social taboos, numerous barriers to information and communication put young people with hearing impairments at a higher risk of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV.

To increase the availability of resources to this group, a new set of sexual and reproductive health and HIV education resources has been prepared by the deaf community and the Inter-American Institute on Disability and Inclusive Development (iiDi) in collaboration with the Partnership for Child Development, UNICEF and UNFPA.

“We [deaf teens] are all in the same situation in which a lack of information leads to unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.” said Maria Emilia, who helped construct the resources. “People think that the disabled do not have a sex life. Why wouldn't we? It's not our fault if we make mistakes if there's no sex education or sexual health information,” she added.

The materials recently received a special mention for human development after being nominated for a National Innovation Award and a few of those available online can be accessed below. The resources produced include posters, postcards and QR Code-messages -a modern digital media content which has been increasingly used in inclusive projects aimed at deaf people.

Materials produced by iiDi:



To watch these videos with English translation, please select English via "Captions" bottom right.​

Further Information

To learn more about this project contact MCH Sergio Meresman (Project Coordinator): iidiuruguay@gmail.com

To find out more about iiDi click here.

The iiDi has recently expanded its work with deaf adolescents to train them as health promoters to raise further awareness among the deaf community and to advance future peer education initiatives in Uruguayan Sign Language. Watch iiDi's video inviting deaf adolescents to join them in becoming health promoters.