Our school is inclusive!
December 3rd is the International Day of People with disabilities and our Year 11 Student Leadership Team wanted to understand and learn from the experiences of students and teachers who have a disability or learn a bit differently from others. Here is what they discovered…
An interview with Mr Hickman:
What is your disability?
I am profoundly deaf; this means that I was born deaf. Also, my parents are deaf meaning that it is genetic. There are lots of my family members that are deaf. When I was younger, I used to attend deaf clubs. This is where I made friends and it also helped to boost my confidence when communicating with others. It was difficult in school for me as I didn’t have a deaf interpreter with me to say what I was signing to others. When I went to college there were many barriers that prevented me from being myself, but I found ways to overcome them and managed to get myself a deaf interpreter which helped massively in getting my own job as a teacher for the deaf.
How do you work with the staff and students in our school?
When I know the staff it is easier to communicate with them. A few people, in particular, can be easy to communicate with however it can be a challenge to communicate with some people still. It can be quite difficult to hear large groups of people, this is because some students speak loud however others are too quiet, but I have strategies to cope with it. I support students during their lessons to understand their work and I help them to communicate better with their teachers. I also help and advise teachers how they can best work with our hearing impaired students.
Can you show us three simple phrases to sign?
While interviewing Mr Hickman he gave us some easy phrases to sign:
How are you?
I love you
As members of the student leadership team, we interviewed some students who learn in all sorts of different ways. They shared with us how the school helps them to work to the best of their ability:
‘I have dyslexia and the school gives me purple paper. I also sometimes have an extra. teacher to help me in class. This helps, but I can find it difficult when no one else in class has dyslexia’.
‘I have a fidget tool. It helps me to concentrate when I am in class.’
‘Sometimes work is hard and sometimes it is easy. I have to have my work enlarged me so that I can see the details’
‘I use a fidget tangle to stop me from fidgeting with pens in class. I go to teachers if I ever need someone to talk to especially since the staff are very supportive and help me if I ever need anything’
Our experiences around school were great. We met so many lovely students who were comfortable in school and felt well supported. Learning from Mr Hickman was also great and we will definitely be using our new phrases around the school when we see him.
Thanks for reading!
The Student Leadership Team