Deaf academy ‘breaking down barriers’ in Exmouth

PUBLISHED: 10:00 21 May 2017

Pupils from Exeter Deaf Academy were joined by Exeter Community college pupils to teach sign langue in the town centre.

Pupils from Exeter Deaf Academy were joined by Exeter Community college pupils to teach sign langue in the town centre.


Exeter Deaf Academy hailed the ongoing National Deaf Awareness Week as a ‘success’ after spending time breaking down communication barriers in Exmouth ahead of its planned move to the town.

Pupils from the academy, which is set to move to the former Rolle College site in two years, visited Exmouth to teach shoppers and elderly people in residential homes basic sign language, They were also taking part in the Tanglewood Project, an educational organisation teaching creativity outside of the classroom, by placing plastic casts of their hands on the beach.

Exeter Deaf Academy’s marketing manager, Helen Trebble, said: “It’s been hugely successful - particularly raising the visibility of awareness in Exmouth ahead our planned moved in two years.

“The community in Exmouth has made us feel very welcome and we hope to continue similar activates in the future.

“National Deaf Awareness Week takes place every year and we use it as a platform, not only for our own accord, but to break down communication barriers. “Ahead of the planned move, it is important to us to break down barriers and it is important for us to make sure students are fully integrated.”

On Monday, May 15, students visited Halsdown Residential Care Home, while primary school pupils went to Exmouth beach to set up their art installations. Youngsters also spent time on Tuesday May, 16, and Wednesday, May 17, in the Magnolia Centre teaching shoppers how to say ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’, ‘please and ‘thank-you’ in sign language.

Today (Thursday, May 16) pupils will teach elderly people at Sheridan House, while on Friday, student support worker at the academy, Amy Ager, of Exeter, will take part in a skydive to raise money and awareness.

Founder of the Tanglewood Project, Nick Mussell, said: “The students thoroughly enjoyed their experience, meeting members of the public, talking about their artwork and they were very excited to be in Exmouth which will be the new home for our academy.

“It’s about connecting our young people with the environment through creativity and connecting the community with the academy.

“It’s about sharing the young people’s Deaf cultural heritage through the medium of art and by casting their hands, they were visually capturing British Sign Language, which makes it equal to the printed word.”

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