On Saturday 13th April 2019. BDA Deaf Roots & Pride – Midlands organised a trip to Derby Theatre to watch ‘Jungle Book’ starring Caroline Parker. This was an integrated performance with signing performers and visual captions.
A number of Young Deaf people (YDP) from Birmingham travelled to Derby by train with members of BDA staff and an interpreter. On arrival at the station the young people were given the responsibility to find the right train and platform that would take us to Derby, and were shown what to do if they were unsure. One young person from Derby travelled by bus to meet his mentor in Derby town for first time on his own. What an amazing achievement from him!
Before we all went off to the theatre, we went to get some food at Intu in Derby. The Deaf young people ordered food by themselves using gestures or using the ‘notes’ application on their phone, these are skills they have developed from their mentoring sessions.
The young Deaf people enjoyed the theatre. Most of them had never seen a signed performance before.
We returned to Birmingham at 11:15pm due to our train being delayed, the young people were able to manage the situation and have now learnt how to manage this situation in the future. Everyone enjoyed the overall experience.
Sean Noone, DRP Midlands' Mentoring Officer said - “the young people involved have certainly developed themselves a lot compared to the first time I met them. I can see they have changed a lot in their lives and are learning skills so that they are able to integrate into the real world, this has all occurred through mentoring sessions. The important thing is that they are able see positive Deaf role models, such as Caroline Parker who is an actress herself and has faced similar barriers over the years.
The other thing is, they all get together and get on extremely well and have fun as well. There are a lot of changes in them and I can see them becoming more independent and growing into confident young people. This is what Deaf Roots & Pride is all about! Thank to Children In Need for making this happen”