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Deaf Awareness Week: Collaborative work making a difference

Deaf Awareness Week: A Celebration

Deaf Awareness Week runs from 15-21 May 2017 and the theme this year is Celebration. Promoted by the UK Council on Deafness, the week long campaign celebrates collaborative work that makes a difference to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. As part of the Get Out Get Active (GOGA) programme we would like to highlight some great collaborative work happening between Nottingham City and The Ear Foundation.

The GOGA programme spans 18 localities UK wide one of which is Nottingham City with the lead organisation; Nottingham City Council. The project looks at getting some of the UK’s least active people moving. GOGA concentrates on fun and inclusive activities and supports disabled and non-disabled people to enjoy being active together. The GOGA project supports Nottingham City’s manifesto which pledges to become ‘the fastest growing city for disability participation’. Three areas across Nottingham City are a focus for the GOGA project. In these areas existing activity will be expanded and supported to become more inclusive and additional activity will be provided as needed. Six priority activities have been selected, of which four are also Nottingham City’s core sports; swimming, cycling, basketball, tennis, Coca Cola Park lives and IFI. 

NottinghamAccording to statistics from Sport England’s Active People survey (2016), regular participation in sport and physical activity is lowest among the deaf population. Only 10% of adults who are deaf or hard of hearing take part in sport once a week, compared to 40% of non-disabled adults. This has driven the basis of partnership work between the two organisations in Nottingham

Nottingham City and The Ear Foundation based at the Marjorie Sherman House in Lenton have established a great working relationship as part of the GOGA project. The Ear foundation strives at bridging the gap between services and the technology used to support those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Their main vision is to ensure all deaf children, young people and adults have the opportunity to hear, communicate and develop spoken language using the latest technological interventions. Both partners through GOGA are looking to ensure all individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can access sport and physical activity opportunities across Nottingham.

Early discussions and consultation have highlighted potential activities that the organisations will be looking at developing. The activities will look to include family fun days supporting individuals with hearing loss to become more active, these are multisport days providing a variety of sports individuals and families can get involved in. Cycling for all taster sessions providing an introduction event into cycling and working alongside deliverers, parents and carers providing deaf awareness training to increase knowledge and confidence in relation to cycling. They will also be linking with younger individuals adapting the Learn to Cycle programme to ensure it is fully inclusive.

The combined work of these organisations will also look to develop team building opportunities for individuals and their friends to enhance social interaction and friendships which can sometimes be a struggle. Lastly with advances in hearing technology swimming and splash sessions will be introduced at the Leisure Centres to engage individuals using the new aqua technology ensuring individuals experience full swimming sessions.

The activities will look to start in the summer months with the Cycling and the multisport sport events being held in Nottingham City. For further information about this work please email Kylie Parr- GOGA lead for Nottingham City on