A film made by Oxfordshire youngsters is to be shown across the country to highlight the challenges faced by deaf people.

The DVD, Deafness Matters, was premiered on Saturday at the Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre in Littlegate Street.

The 37-minute movie shows a week in the life of deaf and hard of hearing young people.

The DVD includes a menu which allows anyone watching to opt for sign language or subtitles to appear on the screen.

Erika Stevenson, of Oxfordshire Deaf Children's Society, said 11 young people took part in the movie, which took seven days to make, starting with a weekend away in a youth hostel.

She said: "They took part in lots of activities including mock job interviews.

"They practised their communication skills as well and what was great was that they were all interacting with each other.

"It is a fantastic achievement for these young people to have made a film.

"We want to use it to raise awareness. I've spoken to the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) and they are interested in making it available to their members.

"We'd like it to be used by schools and the Library Service to help raise awareness of what it is like to have a hearing impairment.

"This would be a great film for a parent to watch if they found out their child was deaf."

Jennifer Ryan, 18, who is studying city and regional planning at Oxford Brookes University, took part in the film.

She said: "I wanted to share my experiences of how I have struggled in terms of communicating with the public in different situations.

"I feel that this film will be beneficial to many young deaf adults - it may develop their self-esteem and how to overcome awkward situations.

"The film also hopes to create awareness within the public that deafness is an important issue, and deaf people have the same qualities as everybody else thus should be given the same opportunities."

"My favourite aspect of making the film was meeting other deaf people similar of my age and discussing our experiences. This reinforces the fact that we are not alone."

Burford School pupil Charlotte Pringle, 15, said: "I took part in this project because I wanted to make new friends.

"I enjoyed making the film and I think it worked because we made such a good team.

"Now that we have finished making the film the group will continue meeting up at the deaf centre as we want to keep our friendships going."

For more information contact the Oxfordshire Deaf Children's Society on 01865 234447.