Look, Smile, Chat

 As part of the NDCS "Look, Smile, Chat" campaign our deaf students jointly delivered deaf awareness assemblies to improve understanding of deafness and help deaf and hearing teenagers to communicate better with each other.

The students were supported by Mr Dixon a Teacher of the Deaf from Peterborough Sensory Support Service and shared their insights into how they access the world inside and outside school.  The audience of students and staff learnt that deafness can be mild, moderate, severe or profound and in one or both ears.  There was a science recap of how the ear works and everyone was reminded of the importance of protecting their hearing as too much noise or loud noise such as listening to loud music through headphones can damage the bones and lead to hearing impairment.

 The audiences learnt that a hearing aid makes things louder and a cochlear implant which connects straight into the cochlea provides access to wide range of sounds.  Nevertheless everyone was educated to the fact that even with aids it can still be hard for deaf people to hear all the sounds being spoken, especially if there is too much noise going on in the room.  The audience were asked to be considerate and keep the noise levels down in classrooms as well as to tolerate the use of subtitles on video material.

Mr Dixon explained that deaf students often feel isolated among their hearing peers so asked the hearing students for help. The audience observed how easy it was to involve deaf students in conversation or asking them for things. Everyone was asked to Look, Smile, Chat.

The audience was introduced to the app 'Glide' which enables video conversations (like texting but with video) which is brilliant for signers as an additional method to texting and skyping .

Mr Barwise acknowledged the active work of our deaf students with teaching trainee teachers about working with deaf students.  Three years ago the deaf students received the Diana Award for the work they have done and they continue to inspire students and staff at Jack Hunt and further afield.