Thursday, June 02, 2011

Mayor presented with Deaf Awareness Toolkit

Emdad Rahman To aid an active participation in Deaf Awareness Week 2011, Deaffinity have launched a Deaf Awareness Toolkit for schools, colleges and businesses.

The toolkit can be used to deliver short workshops, comprising of simple activities and presentations that promote a deeper understanding of deafness and the needs of Deaf individuals.

A group from Deaffinity met with the Mayor of Tower Hamlets to present him with a copy of the toolkit. They discussed the needs of the borough’s Deaf community, and the Mayor participated in some Deaf awareness games, including signing his own name!

Mayor Lutfur Rahman said: “Deaffinity’s work in the borough shows great promise” and this toolkit is an invaluable tool for local businesses and schools”. He added:  “…the council is looking to further improve accessibility to its services, and partners like Deaffinity will be relied upon for their expertise.”
Although 1 in 7 people in the UK are Deaf or hard of hearing, a substantial majority of the UK population still lack an effective understanding of deafness.

Members of the Deaf Community regularly fall victim to some form of stereotyping and/or discrimination. Our focus groups and interviews showed that a large proportion of discrimination took place due to the lack of understanding by colleagues, family and friends.

Deaffinity passionately believe that deafness is not a debilitating factor, and has delivered several projects in the borough, in partnership with the council.

These include:
* Deaffinity Sports - An extensive sports programme through the Youth Opportunities Fund
* DAPA - A young peoples’ leadership, life skills and recreation project, through the Positive Activities for Young People Fund
* A detailed research and consultative report in to the East London Deaf community for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets

To improve Deaf young people’s attitudes towards the workplace, Deaffinity have recently hosted a group of Deaf students from St Pauls Way School, giving them first-hand experience of the workplace. A further two students have worked at Deaffinity’s headquarters on a one-week placement.

Deaffinity’s Deaf Not Dumb video won first place at the Adobe Youth Voices Conference in London, and has now reached global audiences of over 50,000. Throughout Deaf Awareness Week, the Deaf Not Dumb video featured on the public screens at Mulberry Place, Tower Hamlets. The video has been featured on BBC’s See Hear programme on BBC2 – a show targeted at the UK’s 9 million Deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

Please visit, for further information.

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