Deaf Awareness Week 2022

Deaf Awareness Week is run on an annual basis by the UK Council on Deafness, it will be taking place between 2nd – 8th May 2022.The theme for Deaf awareness week 2022 is Deaf Inclusion, to explore the entire theme of inclusion within our community.

The aim of the campaign is to highlight the impact of hearing loss on everyday life and increase visibility and inclusion of Deaf people.

Emphasising the importance of mental health, and empathising with underrepresented groups amongst Deaf such as migrants, BMIs, and women, as well as raise pertinent issues of deafness being overlooked in education, health settings and the workplace.

Get involved with Deaf Awareness Week use the following hashtags on social media: #DAW2022 and #lnclusionDeafness and #MyDeafStory

Law changes open doors to deaf jurors

Sign language interpreters are to be permitted in jury rooms in England and Wales, enabling most deaf people to take part in jury service for the first time.

The planned legal change announced on Monday will amend strict rules that mandate only the 12 selected members of a jury can be present during private deliberations to also allow for a British Sign Language interpreter where needed.

While there is no specific ban on deaf people serving on juries, many have previously been found ineligible to serve or left to rely on lip-reading and limited hearing during private jury discussions.

Tune in to BBC Radio Wiltshire tomorrow morning (12/03/21) at 7:40am to catch WDDA Trustee, George Raggett, give our reaction to the news that the law has been reformed to allow BSL Interpreters to assist Deaf Jurors in jury trials.

104.3 & 103.5 FM I DAB

Junior Sign Choir launching on 9 March!

We are launching our Junior Sign Choir on Saturday 9th March 2019!

Come and join us at Bournemouth Deaf Club in Pokesdown, Bournemouth from 2-3:30pm.  The choir would be open to all young people aged 5-15.

Please share this post with anyone who might be interested and email Zoe at if you would like to register your interest in joining our ‘Sign for Change’ Junior Sign Choir.



Well done to our BSG and Twynham School students!

Congratulations to all 38 students at Bournemouth School for Girls on achieving your BSL 101 Unit after just 9 hours of study.  What a fantastic achievement!  Many thanks to Lynn and George for teaching the sessions and to Wendy and Beccy for their valued input to the success achieved in the assessments.

Congratulations also to all the students at Twynham School on completing your 8 week introduction to Sign Language course with Stefy.

We are looking to raise £5,000 to help fund our work supporting the development of a small team of Deaf and hearing BSL users to enable them to deliver Deaf Awareness & Communication training to local Nursery and Primary Schools in Dorset.

Our ‘Sign for Change’ programme aims to introduce 600 children and young people in Dorset to British Sign Language (BSL) each year.  On a wider level we anticipate that our work within local Nursery and Primary Schools will have a hugely positive impact on the local community as our deaf awareness training helps to break down the barriers to communication faced by pupils who are deaf or have a hearing loss and create a more inclusive environment within your educational setting.  We already have a proven track record of successfully delivering deaf awareness courses and teaching BSL at secondary level at Bournemouth School for Girls and Twynham School and, more recently, at primary level at Talbot Heath School.

Equipping children and young people with the knowledge and skills to be able to communicate with deaf friends also increases self-esteem, provides a foundation for developing sign language skills in the future as they start to think about further education and career paths and, most importantly, helps to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.

To give you an idea of the costs involved to introduce the ‘Sign for Change’ programme – £160 will give 20 of your pupils access to 4 hours (delivered over 4 weeks) of deaf awareness and communication training, specifically tailored to their age group.  This works out at just £8 per pupil or £2 per pupil, per week.  We are able to deliver sessions flexibly to fit around your curriculum and other activities so if you would like us to deliver sessions in an alternative format please just let us know.

Upon completion of the ‘Sign for Change’ programme pupils will be able to converse with a signer they have met for the first time using a range of everyday terms and vocabulary to exchange personal details, modes of transport, family, food and drink, calendar, time, weather and clothes.   They will be practiced in rules of basic grammar and structure of British Sign Language and be prepared for studies in further topics.

If you would like to find out more about how our ‘Sign for Change’ programme can form part of your school’s enrichment programme and/or to discuss the possibility of WDDA facilitating a fun, educational and inclusive after school club please contact Zoe at

You can donate from as little as £2 via our JustGiving page by clicking on the link below:

If you are a taxpayer, you can ‘gift aid’ your donation. For every £10 you give, we can reclaim £2.50 tax relief from the Government.


Significance Sign Choir perform ‘My Fair Lady’

Our fabulous Significance Sign Choir will be signing the 2:30pm matinee performance of My Fair Lady.

Ferndown Phoenix Musical Society presents
19th – 22nd September 2018 at 7.30pm (2:30pm sign supported matinee performance)
Tickets £15 Adults £12.50 Children & Seniors
At: Barrington Theatre, Ferndown

Main Cast List:
Eliza, Chelsea Robson,
Col. Pickering, Bernard Gardner,
Henry Higgins, Jeremy Mills,
Mrs Higgins, Sally Ager,
Freddy, Matt Tyler,
Alfred P Doolittle, Mike Hutchings,
Mrs Pearce, Rachel Leggett,
Zoltan Karpathy, Mike Andrews

The object of the society is to promote musical plays, drama, comedies, operettas and other dramatic works, to further the development of public appreciation and taste in the said arts. This year’s autumn production is My Fair Lady, which is bound to be an incredible show. Come along to see for yourself!

WDDA family fun day brings hearing and Deaf children and families together

Photo credit: Sian Louise Photography

Sunday 22 July 2018 saw WDDA tutors, trustees and supporters take our ‘Sign for Change’ campaign out in to the community as we hosted a family fun day in Boscombe Chine Gardens.  The aim of the event was to help bring hearing and Deaf children and families together and to help breakdown some of the barriers to communication by introducing families to BSL and I think it’s safe to say that we did just that!  Our very own award winning Signature Sign Choir took centre stage performing a repertoire of songs, entertaining the crowds and engaging passers by.  We had face painting, arts and crafts, baby sing and sign, BSL sign supported storytelling and signing puppets along with live music, cream teas and a whole lot of cake (thank you to Sainsburys Boscombe and Aldi Boscombe for their generous support and to all those who kindly donated homemade cakes on the day).

We are currently fundraising to support our work teaching Deaf parents of young pupils to deliver to Deaf Awareness & Communication training to local Nursery and Primary Schools in Dorset.  Thanks to all who joined us on Sunday and kindly donated, helping us to raise £92.22

We are how we treat each other, and nothing more…”

Thank you to: Signature Sign Choir, Abi from Arts2Educate, Holly from Little Fingers, Big Feet Baby & Toddler Signing Classes, Glen from Rainbow Arts Dorset CIC, Sian Louise Photography, Sarah Haywood, The Sweet Peas, Bournemouth Deaf Club, Friends of Boscombe Chine Gardens and all the WDDA trustees, tutors and supporters for donating their time and energy to support the event and an extra special thank you to all the children and families who came together to make the event such a success. 


WDDA to take on the ‘Eggheads’!

CONGRATULATIONS and GOOD LUCK to George, Heather, Charis, Louise, Jas and Matt, aka our WDDA ‘Sign for Change’ Team, on making it through the auditions to appear as contestants on the 21st series of BBC2 quiz show Eggheads!

Wiltshire and Dorset Deaf Association will be heading to Glasgow, armed with quizzing knowhow, this July to take on the resident general knowledge geniuses and beat the Eggheads.  It’s no mean feat to have made it through to filming.  We are so proud of our team for putting themselves forward to represent WDDA and the deaf and hard of hearing community on national television.

Stay tuned to BBC2 this Autumn to find out how they get on!

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