Deaf Action

Visit the headquarters of the oldest deaf organisation in Edinburgh and the world.

A groundbreaking organisation

49 Albany Street is the Headquarters for Deaf Action, a charity organisation for deaf people in Scotland established in 1835 making it the oldest deaf organisation in the world. An organisation that is almost as old as 49 Albany Street itself.

Albany Street was part of the first extension of the New Town with the first known residents recorded in 1818. Historically Edinburgh has been an important centre for the deaf community and deaf culture.

The world’s first school for the deaf was founded in 1760 by Thomas Braidwood in what is now Dumbiedykes Road (named after the deaf children), and in 1830 the first deaf-led church services began in the city.

In 1825 Alexander Blackwood, former pupil at the deaf school, led a group which founded the first Deaf and Dumb Benevolent Society, the first name of what is now known as Deaf Action.

The Society acted as a social as well as a religious hub for the deaf population. There is a collection of artworks by deaf people at the building.

Booking information: No booking required

Opening Dates: 

Saturday 24th September 

Opening times: 



49-51 Albany Street




  • Step free access
  • Lift access
  • Accessible bathroom
  • Loop system
  • Seating
  • Baby feeding and changing area