So, last week was the official Deaf Awareness Week, and I know this it’s a late update, but I’d like to share a story!
During Year 12, I was a victim of discrimination from one of my teachers, who told me face to face; “you shouldn’t do (this subject) because you’re deaf”. This set me back quite a bit, and I was very hurt and couldn’t believe someone could say that to me. I realised I’m not the only one as deaf people are discriminated all the time, due to our ‘invisible disability’. Therefore I wanted to do something about it.
My boyfriend is severely deaf and last year, his school celebrated Deaf Awareness Week, which gave me an idea!
The week before the last, I organised ‘Deaf Awareness Week’ for the first time at my school. It’s my final year and I wanted everyone to remember me when I left! My aim was to educate the students and staff about deaf awareness. The week went very well; we had amazing guest speakers in every day, including a hearing dog. We held cake sales, sign language tasters and a ‘Wear it Loud’ Non-Uniform Day, which raised over £1200 for Hearing Dogs and ‘National Deaf Children’s Society’ combined. I’m so chuffed with my efforts and the money raised and I would love to do something like this again.
There are eleven deaf and hard of hearing students at my school, and being one of the first made it even more special, and I’m hoping that there will be many more over the years to come. I’d just like to take a minute to thank all of my learning support assistants for their countless note-taking! Also thank you to the school who has equally supported me the whole way, it’s been a pleasure and I shall miss it, but I’m looking forward to stepping into the real world!
Back to Deaf Awareness, there are two tips that I’d like you to take away:
- Face us when you’re speaking, so we can lip-read and know what you’re talking about
- Never say “I’ll tell you later”, as you won’t – you’ll just forget and we feel left out and isolated
That’s all from me tonight! Love E x