The Deaf Academy had a positive presence at Devon County Show 2024, showcasing its unique provision and celebrating Deaf inclusivity. Its stand attracted visitors eager to discover more about the charity’s objectives, job opportunities and campaign goals for tackling discrimination. 

They picked up some basic signing skills and participated in Deaf Awareness training sessions led by the Post 19 students. Organisations that received training included UK Border Force and Devon Air Ambulance.  

Show attendees were also treated to a cookery demonstration in the food and drink area by Deaf Academy student Oscar. He made history two years ago by becoming the first Deaf person to be accepted into the Michael Caine’s Academy and has since secured a part-time job as a chef at Lympstone Manor. (The below image was captured by Deaf Academy student Oliver).

This year marked a significant milestone for the Devon County Show as it was the first time BSL interpreters have been introduced. BSL translation of events taking place in the Phil Greed Arena and Main Arena were available to the public on the first day of the show, ensuring the entertainment was made accessible to Deaf attendees.  

The Deaf Academy’s trade stand was also judged ‘Most Accessible Trade Stand’, an accolade which has been introduced to the show this year. The award was presented to the Deaf Academy by blogger and disability advocate Lucie Heath, who visited the stall alongside her guide dog, Chizzy. 

Mark Stocks, Partnerships and Community Manager at the Deaf Academy, accepted the award on behalf of the organisation. He said: “The Academy were delighted to support initiatives that make the County Show a more Deaf-inclusive event. We were also proud to receive an award for the most accessible stall of the show.” 

The Deaf Academy’s involvement in the Devon County Show was a resounding success marked by their award-winning stand and the introduction of BSL interpreters.