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Bolton College celebrates Sign Language Week

28 March 2024

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Bolton College recently played host to a week of vibrant celebration and recognition, as Sign Language Week took centre stage from 18th to 24th March.

The College utilised the week to celebrate its vibrant D/deaf community, as well as prominent D/deaf organisations and individuals.


With over 35 years of experience in supporting and empowering D/deaf learners, Bolton College continues to set the standard for excellence in specialised D/deaf education.


One of the highlights of the week was a visit from London-based MC Geezer, a deaf rap artist and sign rapper. Performing bass line music that he had written himself, MC Geezer combined signing and rapping, allowing D/deaf learners and staff to experience tone, pitch, timbre and volume through vibrations.


As a D/deaf role model, MC Geezer shared his personal journey of growing up deaf with an audience of both D/deaf and hearing students, and he also discussed his achievements as a deaf MC.


Children from Thomasson Memorial School, a specialist day school for deaf children, were warmly welcomed to the College. They had the opportunity to explore first-hand the exceptional resources and support available within the College's vibrant D/deaf community.


They also enjoyed a pampering session provided by the College's beauty students, who offered nail treatments in the College's salon.


Returning to the College was former student Danielle Smith, who is deaf. Danielle, who benefited from the specialised D/deaf support at the College 21 years ago, has since established her own business, My Beadiful Soul, where she creates handmade bespoke jewellery. At the event, Danielle sold items from her jewellery range and she is also a representative of the charity Hear4You, which supports D/deaf children and their families in the North West.


The College's learners also contributed to the week's festivities by creating a stunning British Sign Language display, showcasing D/deaf learners' artwork, and offering a badge-making stand. A cake generously donated by Mandy's Bakery for a raffle was won and then donated back to the College's D/deaf learners to enjoy.


Throughout the week, a series of games and activities were held in the College's Atrium, and Manchester Deaf Centre delivered a presentation to learners about volunteering opportunities, emphasising the importance of individual and community involvement.


In a symbolic gesture, learners and staff were invited to wear blue for British Sign Language, representing strength, spirit, and unity in deaf communities globally.


Siwan Hilton-Graham, Head of Learning Support at Bolton College, said: "We're delighted to announce that we raised £235 for the British Deaf Association and the National Deaf Children’s Society.


“It has been a privilege to showcase the rich tapestry of our D/deaf community, welcoming remarkable individuals such as MC Geezer and external organisations whose stories have truly inspired us all.


"This week has not only nurtured a sense of belonging among our D/deaf learners but has also fostered understanding and appreciation within our wider community.


"I’d like to thank our special guests, dedicated staff, and enthusiastic learners for their invaluable contributions in making this week a resounding success. Here's to future celebrations and the continued support for our D/deaf community."


To see more photos from the week, click here.