We are celebrating a generous donation of £6,450 toward IT equipment for our new essential service, which will support more Deaf young people and their families, thanks to The Boshier-Hinton Foundation.

Cornerstone to our vision is for all Deaf young people to receive top quality education. We specialise in tailored education and care for Deaf young people aged 4-24 in a bilingual English and British Sign Language (BSL) environment. However, we are not funded in the same way as state schools and rely on funding to support projects which otherwise would not happen.

Our Virtual Academy is a new provision and requires funding for equipment. The Boshier-Hinton Foundation, who exist to improve quality of life for people with disabilities or learning difficulties and their families, kindly donated £6,450 towards the much needed IT equipment. The donation will benefit both our students’ education and support their families through outreach work run by our specialist staff.

Opening last year, our unique and vital Virtual Academy responds to the needs of Deaf young people who can find it difficult to learn in a classroom setting. Supporting these students to return to school life, the Virtual Academy offers a bespoke package for those who require a short to medium term learning programme based outside of the formal classroom setting.

Reacting to demand for this provision, and to meet the needs of each individual student, it is crucial the Virtual Academy operates regardless of location or home situation of the student. Inevitably, this requires resources to be both flexible and portable. The laptops, iPads and desktop computers provided by The Boshier-Hinton Foundation’s donation will ensure more students and their families can be supported by this essential provision.

Our Senior Fundraiser, Amanda Strowger said, “We are incredibly grateful and would like to say a huge thank you to The Boshier-Hinton Foundation for donating the necessary funds to purchase IT equipment for our Virtual Academy. This equipment means we can help more Deaf young people from across the country to receive the support and education they deserve. Students on-site will have desktop computers to support their learning, whilst we can use the portable equipment to deliver learning opportunities at a student’s home and carry out potential student assessments.”

Amanda continued, “Our Virtual Academy has already helped a number of students including Liam who joined us in 2015. Initially, there was concern that his outbursts and misbehaviour were jeopardising his education. Thanks to the Virtual Academy, he has not had any serious incidents reported in the last four months and is now learning maths, English and citizenship, whilst integrating life skills within food technology and our Forest School. This academic year he will take a hugely important step back into the classroom by joining his peers in British Sign Language lessons.”

If you’d like to know more about how your donations can help support our students please contact our Fundraising Team on 01392 627019 or fundraising@exeterdeafacademy.ac.uk.