Deaf Project Lets Talk
Over the last 18 month B.G.G.S have been lucky enough to be involved with a project centred on the deaf community. The project entitled ‘Let’s Talk’, originated in Slovenia. It involves countries from around the world, which includes the host country Slovenia, the U.K, Zambia, China and Thailand. Professionals from these wonderful countries have joined forces to bring together resources and experience to create a game ‘Taka Tuka’, which focuses on encouraging the expression of emotions. Emotional expression and interpretation can be difficult for some and in particular, it is quite often the case for the deaf community. The aim of the game is for it be introduced at a young age, so that it can filter through into adulthood.
Taka Tuka was created using the advice of teachers and deaf professionals that work with young children and adults. Deaf Asian, African, and European young peoples’ experiences through their lifetime, was the focus. They used their training and experience to create a gaming experience, which focused on helping deaf students in areas of social and emotional development. The aim of the game is to take part in exciting and fun challenges, to improve the players skills of perception and the ability to identify their own and others emotions.
H.R.B staff were privileged enough to be given the opportunity to travel to meetings and take part in the development and execution of the project and the schedule was as follows.
Our Head of department, Ms Iqbal visited a theatre school In Thailand. She was able to stay at the school with the students and enjoy a truly unique experience. The relevance of the visit, was to observe how emotions can be expressed through drama and music. Deaf students in particular sometimes struggle with expressing their emotions, therefore drama and music can be a liberating experience, which offers an alternative. Consequently, this concept was incorporated into the game.
Slovenia – March 2017
Ms Bennett & Mrs Kaur visited the host country for the purpose of making final changes to the game and rolling it out to the public. Furthermore, they took part in drama workshops and meetings to develop their skills and share good practice.
In addition, they also attended a conference over three days, which involved different teaching methods which could be used with hearing and non-hearing students. It included input from teacher and professionals who shared good practice and their experiences.
Slovenia – November 2017
Miss Sajid & Mr Parker visited Slovenia and trialled the game with some deaf students. The students responded well and enjoyed interacting with each other using drama. They collected student feedback and shared the information with other professionals.
China – March 2018
Mrs Franks from the H.R.B team travelled to China to discuss producing new material for the deaf. This included a second game and a magazine. She took part in the initial discussions and planning of the new material, which was to be developed further over the course of the project.
Zambia – June 2018
Ms Voutsinou & Ms Iqbal visited and were accommodated by a private school in Zambia. They observed various teaching practices and visited a deaf school.
Sadly, the provisions available at the deaf school were not adequate and no single student in the whole school had a hearing device, as they are unable to afford it. Unfortunately, this significantly hinders student learning and development and most of them will not stay in education beyond the age of 10. This was a difficult reality for staff to experience and it was frustrating that there was nothing that could be done.
On a lighter note, although communication barriers were apparent, H.R.B staff managed to overcome this and spent some quality time with the deaf students and donated sporting equipment. They also taught them to play Rounders which the deaf thoroughly enjoyed.
Slovenia – October 2018
Miss Islam & Mrs Franks members of staff visited Slovenia to create a leaflet which is aimed at hearing people, to help them to understand communication with the deaf community. The leaflet was entitled ‘Hello, I’m Deaf’ and detailed the struggles deaf people experience daily and the importance of effective communication. One of the members of staff is deaf, so her contribution proved to be invaluable as she was able to offer her own personal experiences and played an integral part in the development of the project.
Unfortunately, the project has now come to an end, however it was a wonderful experience for both the school and the H.R.B Department. We hope that we will have the opportunity to be involved in future projects and will ensure that we continue to keep our links with all who were part of the project!