03 June 2019
Schools have been running programmes of activities to raise awareness and challenge perceptions of hearing loss and deafness.
St Clement’s Primary School recently held their Deaf Awareness Week with a variety of activities designed to educate children and their parents about what it is like to be deaf. Staff taught children how to sign Happy Birthday, and posted a video on Facebook so that parents could learn too.
St Clement’s Primary School deputy headteacher, Marianne Hickling, said: “We have been told that, since learning to sign this song at school, the children automatically sign it when they go to birthday parties, so we thought it would be a good idea to teach families how to sign correctly.
“We also organised a Deaf Awareness workshop where children could wear ear defenders to get a feeling of what it is like to be deaf and experience being woken up by a vibrating pad, instead of an alarm clock. These activities were also available for parents to try out at our Open Day last half term.”
Le Rocquier School, which is the host secondary school to the Additionally Resourced Centre for deaf students, are running their programme of activities this week, from Monday 3 June to Friday 7 June, when a team from the National Deaf Children’s Society will visit the school.
Most activities are on Wednesday from 8.15am with a coffee morning for parents and carers to meet other parents of children with a hearing loss. At 2pm the school will host a drop-in session for parents and carers of deaf children to speak to the National Deaf Children’s Society. Later that evening, at 6.30pm, there will be a free screening of ‘The Power in Our Hands’, a documentary by the British Deaf Association. Although the screening is free, there will be opportunity to make donations to deaf health charity SignHealth and the Le Rocquier Signing Choir.
You can get free tickets online
As part of the week-long programme of events, representatives from the National Deaf Children’s Society will provide workshops for deaf students aged 11 to 19. They will also hold deaf-awareness assemblies and form time sessions for deaf and hearing students.
Teacher of the Deaf, Rupi Dhami, said: “Le Rocquier is an inclusive school that recognises the importance of being deaf aware. Workshops and activities provide an opportunity for deaf and hearing students to ask questions about deafness, as well as to celebrate the many achievements of deaf individuals in history, art, literature and sport. We look forward to welcoming the team from the National Deaf Children’s Society to Jersey.”