What an amazing Deaf Awareness Week we’ve had this year. The students have been all over Exeter teaching members of the public to sign their name and other basic British Sign Language (BSL). Plus, we’ve launched our brand new fundraising event Voice Off!

Tuesday was the big day as months of work culminated in our Voice Off launch event in Princesshay, a prestigious shopping centre in Exeter city centre. Secondary started off the day meeting with members of the public and asking if they wanted to learn some BSL. We were all very proud of the confidence the students showed and they did an amazing job representing the Deaf Academy and helping to improve people’s deaf awareness.

The afternoon saw College’s turn and they too did a fantastic job helping members of the Exeter public understand more about deafness. They were even treated to a magic show by one member of the public as a thank you. The Voice Off team and everyone who took part said what a great launch it was not only raising deaf awareness, but also awareness of Voice Off and Exeter Deaf Academy.

Voice Off is a fun communication challenge where individuals, schools, businesses, clubs and groups switch off their voice and find other ways to communicate instead. That could be writing, drawing, texting, acting or learning some basic British Sign Language. Voice Off day is Wednesday 15th June and registration opened to take part in this exciting new event during Deaf Awareness Week. Registration will remain open until the 10th June.

National Trust’s Killerton was next on the student’s Deaf Awareness Week tour. Primary had a great time on Wednesday speaking and signing with the public in the lovely estate and again were a credit to the Deaf Academy. On Thursday Year 9 taught pupils at the local pre-school and we finished off the week with Year 8 and 10 visiting Exeter Central Library to continue teaching some basic BSL to the Exeter public.

All students involved have taken the task of teaching various people in Exeter some Deaf Awareness in their stride. We are so proud of everyone’s attitude and willingness to get stuck in. This week’s activities will not only benefit the public, but also gives our students confidence in engaging people in the local community and explaining to them how being Deaf may affect themselves and others.