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Deaf Awareness Week

30th April 2022

An exhibition featuring images of 152 deaf people working in a vast range of different job roles, with the aim of showing that deaf young people can go on to any career they want, will be coming to Paston College. 

The eye-catching ‘See it, Be it!’ display was created by Norwich-based community interest company ToyLikeMe, which uses the arts and play to start conversations with children and young people about disability. 

The exhibition has been set up in the main reception area at Easton College in time for Deaf Awareness Week (2nd to 8th May 2022) and will be highly visible to students, staff and visitors to the college. 

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Jessie Allen with Communication Support Worker / Learning Support Assistant Sarah Bell.

Briony Curran, ToyLikeMe Project Manager, says:  

This exhibition is about raising aspirations for deaf children and young people in a hands-on and playful way. It celebrates the wide variety of jobs being done by deaf people – from everyday jobs to people in senior roles, as well as some more unusual occupations.


Thanks to the support of The Norwich Freemen’s Charity, we have been able to take the exhibition into local primary schools and special schools. It is really exciting for us to now be bringing it to college students who are making important decisions about their future careers.” 

Jessie Allen, who is working towards a Diploma in Land-based Studies at Easton College, and who is deaf herself, helped set up the exhibition. Jessie says: 

It’s a really good idea, so people can see what deaf people could do. Sometimes people think we can’t do anything, but we actually can do lots of jobs.” 

Jessie says that being involved in the project has helped her to see that there are numerous career opportunities open to her in the future.          

There’s so many things I would like to do after college. I like working with animals, I would love to be an actor, I would love to work with old people. It’s difficult to pick!” 

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Easton College student Jessie Allen helped set up the display.

Sarah Bell, Communication Support Worker / Learning Support Assistant, who supports Jessie in her college lessons, adds: 

I think it’s important that hearing people are aware of how to communicate with deaf people and know that deaf people can do any job role. There doesn’t have to be a barrier.”  

Ensuring that teaching and learning is fully accessible to all students is a key focus of the college’s staff development programme. This has included providing a video glossary of common British Sign Language (BSL) signs for teaching staff, and a subject-specific sign language glossary developed for key words and technical terms from particular course areas. 

The college also provides deaf awareness training whenever a deaf student joins a course – using practical exercises to help teachers and students better understand what it is like to be deaf, as well as passing on key tips for communicating with, and including, deaf students.   

City College Norwich, Easton College, and Paston College, which has an Outstanding Ofsted rating for its support for students with high needs, is one of three national Centres for Excellence in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) - providing expert support for leaders, managers and practitioners who wish to put learners with SEND at the centre of their organisation.