Jodie Ounsley was born deaf. She was told she would never play rugby 

due to her hearing disability. She is now the first deaf female to make the 

international squad for England. As a baby, Jodie was fitted with a Cochlear 

implant to help interpret sounds and tune into conversations. The 

processor captures signals and sends them to a receiver implanted under 

Jodie’s skin behind her ear. The receiver delivers signals to electrodes 

implanted in the cochlea which stimulate the auditory nerve, directing 

them to the brain. This device however does not restore normal hearing. 

What Jodie hears is very different to what an able ear would hear. It takes 

a long time to learn to interpret sounds after cochlear implantation. As a 

child, Jodie was told to avoid contact sports because of the high risk of 

damage this may cause to her hearing. She was told she would never be 

able to play team sports. After many conversations with her parents, 

Jodie’s passion for sports and endurance outweighed the risk. From 

becoming a British Brazilian Jui Jitsu Champion in 2012, she then ran for 

Great Britain at Deaflympics 2017. This led her into the sport of rugby 

where, through tireless perseverance, Jodie became the first ever deaf 

female to make the international squad for England. She was awarded 

Deaf Sports Personality of the Year 2020. Being born deaf can be seen as 

a disability, but for Jodie it has helped shape who she is today.  NJA will act 

as a platform to inspire, motivate and connect people who are also facing 

challenges in their lives. Please help support Jodie’s movement and share 

your stories through @_notjustanyone.

A film by Craig Bingham 

Talent - Jodie Ounsley 

Charity - NJA

Production - Dadbod films 

Exec Producer - Robert Wildsmith 

Colour - Toby Tomkins / CHEAT 

Original Score - Gus Collins / House Of Noise 

Sound Design - Aaron Taffel / Rascal Post @