Journal joins forces with The Deaf Academy. Can Exmouth be the UK’s first deaf-friendly town?

PUBLISHED: 08:00 07 September 2018

Architect impression of the new Deaf Academy campus, Exmouth

Architect impression of the new Deaf Academy campus, Exmouth


The Journal has joined forces with The Deaf Academy to shine the spotlight on Exmouth as the UK’s first deaf-friendly town.

The partnership is to found a long-lasting relationship between Exmouth and the deaf community, which will unfold and grow as a multi-million pound project to build a state-of-the-art deaf academy at the former Rolle College site which begins later this month.

The Deaf Academy bought Exmouth’s Rolle site in September 2016 with the aim of building a ‘world-class’ facility.

Starting this month, The Deaf Academy will launch an appeal to raise the final £250,000 needed to finalise its new project in Exmouth. Exmouth’s businesses have rallied to back the new Deaf Academy, already pledging support.

Helen Trebble, The Deaf Academy spokeswoman, said its current ‘crumbling, outdated buildings’, in Exeter, limit the difference the academy can make. She said: “The main build is on schedule to begin in September 2018 and the doors of the new Deaf Academy will be open in the academic year 2019/20. The multi-million pound project will include a new education building, student accommodation and the refurbishment of the existing Owen Theatre, to create a fully inclusive place for deaf young people.

“The Deaf Academy in Exmouth will specialise in enabling Deaf British Sign Language users with additional needs to lead independent lives.

“Bringing deaf and hearing communities together is at the heart of that vision. The long-term aspiration for the new Deaf Academy is to enable Exmouth to become a role model to the rest of the UK as Britain’s first deaf-friendly town.”

She added: “The former Rolle College had a positive impact on thousands of students and their families, and the Deaf Academy is similarly committed to building a brand new global exemplar Deaf Academy in Exmouth that provides a facility for future generations of students and the community.

“The Deaf Academy will look to make theatre facilities available for local people, allowing others to benefit from the new academy.”

The Deaf Academy charity offers specialist education and care for deaf children and young people from ages five to 25 from across the UK, as day or residential pupils.

Help with fundraising efforts; a volunteer recruitment drive is on Wednesday, September 19, -9pm, at Exmouth Rugby Club.

For more details, contact David Wellbeloved on 01392 267059 or email

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