Deaf students and pupils in Doncaster are saying a huge thank you to the businesses and organisations who have taken the time to learn basic signs this Deaf Awareness Week (May 6- 12).
The students from Communication Specialist College Doncaster and pupils from Doncaster School for the Deaf have worked with a number of organisations in the last 12 months who have taken the time to become Deaf Aware and to learn signs that are relevant to their sector.
Alexis Johnson, executive principal of Doncaster Deaf Trust, who manage both the school and college, said: “Our Deaf students try and live their lives as independently as possible, but if they experience communication problems while they’re out and about, it can make normal, day-to-day tasks such as getting a bus or going shopping much more difficult.
“Over the past twelve months they have worked with a number of organisations including Lakeside Village, Costa Coffee and Doncaster Dome to teach Deaf Awareness and basic sign language to some of their staff. The team at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue have worked closely with us and invested time in learning how to sign and communicate with Deaf people. Our pupils and staff have worked closely with them on a progamme which will be rolled out across the county.”
Simple steps, such as being deaf aware, looking at a Deaf person when you are talking to them, and taking the time to learn some of the basics of British Sign Language, can make all the difference to the lives of Deaf people here in Doncaster.
“We are pleased that Doncaster Sheffield Airport are this week, during Deaf Awareness Week, having Deaf Awareness Training for their Customer Service staff.”
Doncaster Deaf Trust has offered residential educational placements for Deaf people for 190 years. The Trust is now made up of a nursery, Little Learners Day Nursery, which supports Deaf and hearing children, Doncaster School for the Deaf which offers specialist primary and secondary education for Deaf pupils and Communication Specialist College Doncaster which offers day and residential placements for anyone who is Deaf, hard of hearing or has communication difficulties including Autism, from the age of 16 and above. The Trust also has an Employment Supported Service team who work with Deaf people to help them to find jobs.
Alexis added: “This is a great start to making Doncaster a Deaf Aware town. We are lucky that many organisations work with us to support our students and offer work placements and industry visits.
“Places like CAST put on signed performances and their entire pantomime has been signed for a number of years. Doncaster Rovers support us with their player’s visits and donations and Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust provide special swimming lessons for deaf youngsters.
“We’re proud of our specialist education provision and welcome students from across the country to our region. Working together we can show the country what we can do and become the UK’s most Deaf Aware town.”