Deaf children and their hearing classmates in Birmingham spent the day learning all about deafness with a series of informative and engaging workshops.
The workshops were organised by the National Deaf Children’s Society as part of its Roadshow, an eight ton purple lorry that tours the country and turns into a high-tech classroom.
The Roadshow visited Percy Shurmer Academy and passed on support, advice and information to some of the city’s 1,526 deaf children and their hearing friends, teachers and parents.
One of the workshops, Look, Smile, Chat, provided advice and tips on how to communicate with a deaf child:
- Get their attention with a wave, or a tap on the shoulder
- Speak one at a time
- Face them when speaking
- Don’t cover your mouth
- Be visual! Don’t be afraid to use gestures or actions
- Never give up and say “I’ll tell you later”!
Another of the workshops promoted mental health support for deaf children. Through creative and fun activities, deaf children learnt what good emotional health is and how best to ensure both their bodies and minds remain healthy, including ideas for managing their own mental health.
The National Deaf Children’s Society also showcased the latest technology and equipment available to deaf children to accompany the key skills learnt on the day. This included flashing doorbells, vibrating alarm clocks and technology that helps deaf children listen to an iPod or mobile phone.
Steven Gardiner, the Roadshow’s Logistics Officer, who is deaf himself, said: “We’re travelling the country to help empower deaf children and raise awareness of deafness among their friends, family and teachers.
“When a deaf child is struggling with their confidence, independence or communication, a visit from the Roadshow can make a real difference. We want to help everyone understand what it’s like to be deaf and show deaf children some of the technology and resources available to them.
“Most importantly, we want to remind every deaf child that they have incredible potential and should be aiming high. With the right support, they can do anything other children can do.”