From 15-21 May our young learners took part in Deaf Awareness Week. During Deaf Awareness Week many different organisations work to raise understanding of deafness and hearing loss in the UK. 

Find out more about Deaf Awareness Week from the UK Council on Deafness. You can find more photos from our week on our Facebook page.

Throughout the week learners from both School and College were in various locations, teaching basic British Sign Language and raising deaf awareness in our local community. We spent some time in Exmouth, where we will be relocating in 2019. Being part of a community is at the heart of our vision for the New Build, and our students made a great contribution by reaching out and raising the visibility of our cause during Deaf Awareness Week.

College students spent the first day of Deaf Awareness Week leading a deaf awareness course at Halsdown Nursing Home in Exmouth. Everyone had a lot of fun sharing some basic British Sign Language, and staff and students were made to feel very welcome by the care home and its residents.

At the same time, School pupils joined Nick from the Forest School on Exmouth beach, where they created a temporary art installation featuring plaster casts of pupils’ hands signing. The casts looked very striking emerging from the surf, where they symbolised connecting our young deaf people with the environment in Exmouth. Nick said;

‘Lots of dog walkers on the beach stopped to talk with us. The students thoroughly enjoyed meeting people from Exmouth who tell us they are very excited that the town will one day be the new home for our Academy.’

The next day we were back in Exmouth, where our School students joined up with hearing students from Exmouth Community College to teach shoppers in the town centre how to fingerspell their name. Every member of the public our students met wanted to learn more about deaf awareness. Some people were eager to know about our future plans to move to Exmouth, and others simply wanted to make a charitable donation.

On the fifth day of Deaf Awareness Week our Student Support Worker Amy took to the skies with a sponsored sky dive to raise money for the Academy! Amy leapt 15,000 feet and raised over £1000 for us. Would you like to follow in Amy’s footsteps and do a sponsored skydive for us? Click here to find out how.

Whilst Amy was leaping out of an aeroplane, our School and College Complex Needs group spent a great morning in Princesshay Exeter teaching shoppers some basic signs and how to fingerspell their name. They even caught the attention of some lovely buskers who donated their money to us! Students had a lot of fun dancing and singing with them in the sunshine.

And finally, to mark the last day of Deaf Awareness Week we headed down to the Exeter Marathon and 10 mile run finish line at the Quay, where we cheered the runners on. A big thank you to our volunteers who manned the water station, and to everyone who ran for the Deaf Academy.

We had a brilliant Deaf Awareness Week, and would like to say a big thank you to everyone who was so supportive of our students throughout the week. Finally, a huge well done to our inspiring students for their hard work in making Deaf Awareness Week 2017 such an amazing success!