Deaf Learner Awareness Day

Deaf students who are considering going to university have been given the opportunity to find out more about studying in Manchester at two Higher Education Awareness Days.

The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University teamed up to offer advice on disability support, student finance and student life as part of the joint programme, Manchester Higher. There was also a tour that covered both campuses.

The event was run in conjunction with the Deaf Education Advocacy Fellowship (DEAF), run by MMU graduate Esmail Patel, who is deaf himself.

Introducing the event to the large group of under 16 year-olds in the lecture theatre, the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Cllr Elaine Boyes, said:  “I want to encourage you to consider higher education in the future. You can achieve your goals – if you have a dream, go for it. Thanks to the Deaf Education Advocacy Fellowship obstacles can be overcome with help, support and guidance.”

Visitors also had the chance to chat to students of the two universities, who shared their experiences.

Hassan Naseer, a first year Electrical and Electronic Engineering student at the University of Manchester said: “I was very honoured to be asked to be part of this event and was thrilled to see so many deaf people inspired to go onto higher education.”

“There is a common misconception that deaf people can't go to university as English is our second language. With the support of interpreters and language support provided by the university, I am equal to hearing students. I am very proud to be considered a deaf role model. “

“I would encourage any deaf students to seek further advice about attending university.”

Heather Owen, a final year English student at MMU who uses hearing aids, said: “When I first came to University I was quite embarrassed and didn’t tell anyone I wore hearing aids, so it affected me quite badly, especially in lectures.

“But then I got in touch with learning development at the University and they were so helpful. They let my teachers know so they made sure if we watched films there were subtitles, asked people not to talk over each other to make it easier for me and I got a note taker.

“My advice to deaf people thinking about University would be to let the University know as soon as possible and not be embarrassed. There is so much support available. You should also tell your flatmates and coursemates – everyone has been really understanding.”

This is the second year that a higher education awareness day has been run for D/deaf students as part of Manchester Higher and it demonstrates the two universities’ commitment to widening participation.

The term D/deaf is used in higher education and research to describe students who are Deaf (sign language users) and deaf (who are hard of hearing but who have English as their first language and may lipread and/or use hearing aids).

Notes for editors


Stephanie Lee, UG Recruitment and Widening Participation Manager Stephanie.lee@manchester.ac.uk / 0161 275 7544

Laura Cragg, UG Recruitment and Widening Participation Officer Laura.cragg@manchester.ac.uk / 0161 275 8172

For information about the Manchester Higher Programme please visit: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/undergraduate/schoolsandcolleges/secondary/manchester-higher/