Deaf Day back at City Lit after three-year hiatus

Deaf Day back at City Lit after three-year hiatus

25 April 2022
Posted in: Events, News

Deaf Day returned to City Lit after a three year break because of the pandemic.

More than 2,000 people came together on Saturday 23 April to celebrate Deaf culture and provision. It was an opportunity for the Deaf community to come together to socialise and network with organisations and charities from across the UK. 

A lot had changed since Deaf Day 2019. The new Gallery enabled us to host Stephen Iliffe’s marvellous Deaf Mosaic exhibition, which brings together stunning images of Deaf people from across the country; and the newly refurbished second floor was one of the main floors filled by exhibitors. 

The one-day event, which is completely free to attend, was made possible with support from sponsors including: SignVideo, SignLive, Lipspeaker UK and City & Guilds.

A huge variety of organisations was at the event, including a number of deaf schools, colleges and universities such as Wolverhampton and Heriot-Watt, arts organisations like Deafinitely Theatre, and professional associations including the British Deaf Association and the Association of Lipspeakers.

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Throughout the day, there were taster sessions and workshops from a variety of the college’s courses, including British Sign Language, lipreading and yoga for Deaf people.  

The Cultureplex hosted sell-out lectures and interviews throughout the day. City Lit BSL tutor and deaf historian Peter Brown gave a lecture on deaf history, David Buxton from BDA shared an update on the BSL Bill, and Principal Mark Malcomson interviewed deaf photographer and former student Stephen Iliffe. 

Deaf Day was one of the first events we had to cancel at the beginning of the pandemic and that meant the Deaf and hard of hearing community have not been able to get together en masse for a long and challenging time. It was brilliant to see the huge diversity of the Deaf community being able to regroup and have a welcoming and open space to meet friends and catch up. 

We play a hugely important part in the UK's Deaf community and Deaf Day has grown to become a key event in the yearly deaf calendar. 

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Centre for Deaf Education at City Lit

City Lit has provided support for deaf people at its heart right from our establishment, in 1919. Some of the first courses ever offered by City Lit were lipreading classes for deafened soldiers returning from World War I. Over the years, we have grown to become an internationally-renowned centre of a wide range of provision - it is the largest centre of its kind in Europe. Our staff is a mixed group of deaf and hearing professionals; all highly skilled in their own areas of specialist expertise.

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