National Deaf Awareness Week runs from 14 to 20 May 2018. parkrun’s Outreach Ambassadors for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Victoria Knight-Phillips and Philippa Wynne, wanted to celebrate the beginning of National Deaf Awareness Week by doing something a little different. Victoria explains more:
Last year we arranged three parkrun takeovers which were a great success. We wanted to build on this success and continue to raise awareness and improve inclusivity at parkrun. So this year as, connections in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing parkrun community had strengthened, mostly through the Facebook Group, ‘parkrun for the deaf and hard of hearing’ and regular newsletters we decided to arrange two parkrun meet-ups. One in Bromley at Philippa’s home parkrun and the other in Huddersfield at my home parkrun.
Deaf, Hard of Hearing, other hearing problems, carers, parents, family, teachers of the Deaf, signers and interpreters were all very welcome. It was suggested that people might want to bring along friends and family to be a spectator, volunteer, run, jog or walk. Sign support would be available at both parkruns.
On Saturday 12 May the meet-up events took place. Bromley parkrun had 10 Deaf parkrunners and for one of them it was their first parkrun! They taught everyone at Bromley that day the sign of ‘parkrun’. The DeafPlus charity provided fingerspelling postcards for parkrunners to take home. Everyone really enjoyed the morning.
Huddersfield parkrun had eight Deaf or Hard of Hearing parkrunners and several teachers of the Deaf, support workers and family running. Numerous other Deaf teachers, support workers, charity workers and family members either volunteered or spectated. The local charity, the Kirklees Deaf Children’s Society, arranged a cake stall and provided everyone with information and support on the day. People had travelled from other parkruns to visit Huddersfield especially for the event and spent time chatting, signing and generally getting to know one another. Much fun was had by all.
Up and down the country other Deaf and Hard of Hearing parkrunners celebrated the beginning of Deaf Awareness Week and some events, such as Eastville parkrun, arranged takeovers and meet ups.
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