Doncaster MP drops into school to support deaf children

MP Dame Rosie Winterton paid a virtual visit to a workshop at Doncaster School for the Deaf earlier this month.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 3:26 pm

A team from the National Deaf Children’s Society has been delivering virtual workshops to the school since late February, on a range of topics including deaf identity, technology, emotional health and wellbeing and online safety.

In this, the final session, the team ran a workshop about the charity’s Make a Change Fund, which provides support for deaf young people to make a difference in their communities. The team also gave a brief introduction to democracy and the role of MPs, in anticipation of Dame Rosie’s visit.

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Dame Rosie was impressed with the pupils' interest in politics and current affairs

Students from the school were joined by another deaf student from Lythe Primary School in Whitby and stayed on after the workshops to chat to Dame Rosie about their lives, the challenges they face and their hopes and dreams for the future.

The National Deaf Children’s Society’s Roadshow provides virtual workshops for schools around the UK to pass on advice and information to deaf children and young people, as well as to give advice to their hearing friends, teachers and parents about understanding deafness and how to communicate well.

Commenting on the work of the National Deaf Children’s Society at Doncaster School for the Deaf, Dame Rosie said: “It was lovely to meet these four wonderful young people, who spoke to me about a range of issues, including the voting age, their concerns about employment and the needs of the Deaf College. They were a lively group of students and I was incredibly impressed by their interest in politics and current affairs.”

Luke Collins-Hayes, who helped deliver the workshops for the National Deaf Children’s Society, said: “We want to thank Dame Rosie for dropping in to learn about our work at first hand. We’re giving workshops to schools up and down the UK to help empower deaf children and young people and raise awareness of deafness among their friends, family and teachers.

“Visits like this, even when they’re virtual, have such a fantastic impact on the lives of the UK’s 50,000 deaf children and young people and it’s amazing to see that. By sharing information and developing everyone’s understanding of deafness, we are working towards a world without barriers for every deaf child.”

“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 anyone else can do. We really hope Dame Rosie took this important message away with her.”

Top tips for communicating with deaf children:

1. Speak clearly and naturally, it makes lip reading much easier.

2. Don’t cover your mouth. Covering your mouth with your hands, eating or chewing can make lip-reading very difficult

3. Be visual. Can you point, use gesture, write things down or type sentences on your phone?

4. Never give up and never say “I’ll tell you later”!

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.