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'My Deaf Story' Project
Discovering our deaf culture, identity and heritage
Welcome to our second newsletter from Deaf Ex-mainstreamers Group (DEX). 
In this newsletter, we will be talking more about what DEX Deaf Young Council (DDYC) are doing. DDYC formed a few years ago with the aim of sharing views of our experiences in mainstream education and what organisations can do to improve the lives of deaf children in education. 

Our forthcoming theatre play in November will be our initiative to show how beneficial it is for deaf children to learn BSL at a young age.  Deaf young children need to be bilingual so they can thrive in a hearing world and have a positive Deaf identity.
We hope you enjoy reading about DDYC and what we are doing in this newsletter. 
As part of our ‘My Deaf Story’ Heritage project to continue the Deaf cultural experience, we went on a trip to Wolverhampton to visit Deaffest in May.  
We enjoyed watching a short theatre play ‘Little Red Riding Hood’.  There were plenty of exhibitors from BDA to British Deaf History Society, including artists, designers, charities and businesses.  
We also looked at an exhibition showcasing talented deaf artists and 
photographers.  It had been a great day out and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Team
Steve Gibson - our Project Manager for 'My Deaf Story' project
Jill Jones - oversees the HLF project
David Leach - Treasurer for HLF project
Georgina Brown - Volunteer: Photographer
Also in July, we made another day trip this time to Lancaster to learn more about the Deaf Heritage and why it is so important to preserve for our community.  We visited the Signed Voices exhibition and film in Lancaster.  This was followed by a play about Gerry Hughes' adventurous sail around the world by the Dukes Deaf Drama Group, which was really well done.  It was also a good opportunity for us to seek fresh ideas for our “My Deaf Story’ theatre play and how Deaf drama is staged.
The day was rounded off with a hearty meal at the Courthouse Restaurant, owned by the East Lancashire Deaf Society, in Blackburn.
Over the past few months, we have been preparing and practicing for a theatre play.  In October and November we will be busy 
dressing up and performing rehearsals as well as learning how to act, do make-ups, costumes, props and lighting.  We are also learning to understand how to act into character taking into account its power, movement and body posture.
Mickey Fellowes, who is the Workshop Leader, did a great job of making the script come to life.  Terry Harton, a retired Deaf Actor, came to show us how to translate the birth of the Deaf community (Deaf Banquet) and one of the speeches to make sure we make a real impact at the show on 19 November! 
Here is what some of the DDYC have to say about the play and what they have learnt so far…
Zara says… “I feel welcomed by other members where they gave me the positiveness to be involved as well as growing my confidence.”
Sheryaar says… “I have learnt so many things like acting and understanding the correct position on stage.  I enjoyed everything so far.”
Arooj says… “I am an actor and make up artist.  I had fun times with team work and talking to people.  I had to learn how to act and how to create a character.  I love how actors move and show their faces.”
Junior says… “I am the Apolinario Olivio Manjuba Junior.  I was born in Guinea Bissau, in 1989, and I am attending the last year of Architecture Design course at CED Jacob Rodrigues Pereiera (Portugal) 2010-2013.  I love sports. Already practiced rugby and I love to play soccer and hang out with my friends and colleagues. My colleague Deaf think I much effort to achieve good results in Design, accepted the advice of my teachers and I am very responsible. My teachers tell me who are very proud of my progress.”
Suzanne says… “I have gained knowledge about deaf history that I have never learnt at mainstream education.  I found that it is an amazing experience and proud of our deaf tradition.”
Jawaad says… ”I enjoy all the workshops at Lightwaves and I need some practice for acting.”
Joel says… “I am really happy.  I just action.  It is a clean actor and confident.  And we did play a game with next action.  People like gesture.  We had fun.”
Leah says… “This play gave me the confidence and strength.  I have been learning lots of things like where people stand on centre, front and back, body language and expression.”
Falak says… “Everybody is fantastic who have been working together as teamwork so far.  Frank is obviously a great director.  Hopefully we will be successful on the performance.”
Zohaib says… “I enjoy practicing with the team and learning how to do drama.”
Sohaib says… “I learned how to do acting and drama.  I learned how to respect and communicate well to each other.  We keep teamwork and work together to achieve the target.”
We are very excited about the theatre play, which will inform the audience how important BSL is for deaf people.  The play will be held at Mechanics Theatre in Wakefield on Saturday 19th November 2016.  The play will start at 6pm and finish at 9pm.  There will be a 15 minute interval. 
DEX Deaf Youth Council will stage a play re-enacting the French Deaf Banquets, the infamous 1880 Milan Conference, the state of Deaf Education in the 1970s and the celebration in the introduction of sign language in education.
Throughout the play, there will be two narrators, Falak Sher as Jean Sourd and Zara Emery as Jeanette Sourd, who will guide you throughout the play and explain the significance of each scene. With their help you will find yourself being drawn into
how the birth of the Deaf community began in 1830s, the rejection of Oralism in the emerging Deaf community and how Deaf people have become strong in their birthright and identity.
The play is a must for deaf and hearing people to understand the complete and rich history of the Deaf community.
There will be a BSL/English interpreter on stage for hearing audience.
John Smith – Brand new show!

After the play, we will have a 15 minutes interval. We will have an opportunity to see the lighter side and watch John Smith expand on the good and weird issues of Deaf Culture in his humorous and mocking way.
We do hope that you will come along and see our play.  Tickets are £10 each per person.  Please click here to buy your tickets.  Bring along your family and friends, so they can enjoy it too.  Make it a date in your diary to see our theatre play.  It is not to be missed!

Click on the map opposite to open up new window.

Here is a BSL video, signed by Steve Gibson, Project Manager
for ‘My Deaf Story’ about the theatre play.

My Deaf Story and John Smith

by DEX Deaf Youth Council

Saturday 19th November 2016

6.00pm to 9.00pm

Mechanics Theatre
38 Wood Street

Click here to buy your ticket £10 per person
Last but not least, a hearing cyclist who is a retired teacher, is currently making his way up from Lands End in Cornwall, to John O'Groats, at the top of Scotland - to raise much needed funds for DEX to campaign for a UK-wide BSL Act!  He was deaf when he was at school, but due to an ear operation he became hearing.  Ian still remembers what it was like struggling at school, and how long it took for him to catch up, until he finally passed his ‘A’ levels to get to university.
If you would like to support his brave and amazing trip, please do support him and donate by clicking on the box below.
Donate Ian
We hope you enjoyed reading this newsletter.
Best wishes from all of us at DDYC,
Jawaad, Sohaib, Suzanne, Leah, Falak, Joel, Zohaib, Ali, Junior, Arooj, Shamas, Zara, Sheryaar, Haider, Aquib, Stephen and Aliko

P.S.  Don’t forget to see our theatre play at Mechanics Theatre on Saturday 19th November 2016.  
Click here to buy your ticket £10 per person
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We are always looking for new people to join DDYC and you will be very welcome. 
If you are deaf, age 17 – 30 and live anywhere
in Yorkshire, please come and join us. 
To join, please contact Jill Jones
or text 07786 39 03 15.
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