University of Edinburgh

Moving on from School: challenges for deaf pupils, their families and professionals

Presented on Wednesday 28 September 2005

Stories from former pupils

Marian Grimes
Scottish Sensory Centre


"The school always organise everything for me, but now I have to do it myself and that's a big jump."

Decision-making: subjects and level

"The interpreter would decide that it was too hard for me and that I coudn't do physics, but the physics teacher said I could do it. I feel in a perfect world I want to make the choices - let me go and do it, whatever class I want to do, without people making the decision that it's too hard for me. It should have been my decision, but the teacher decided for me and I think that's wrong"
First year FE student

Decision-making: linguistic access

"I was at a deaf primary school and a mainstream high school. It was OK. I had a deaf support unit. They would take notes or whatever. I wish they could have helped me more. I wish there could have been more sign language at school and then I would have learned more, instead of just notetakers."
First year FE student

"We had a [deaf] student just now who is coping in an HND class because it's a smallish class (he's going to an HEI next year). The lecturers are very good - face him, etc, and have good lip patterns. But we do have lipspeakers for him and notetakers. It took a while for him to get used to these strategies. He had to learn to work with these two people who were strangers and had to learn how to work with a notetaker.

English language is an issue for him. He doesn't sign but he's starting a BSL class because he isn't getting enough information."
FE Disability Advisor

Identity issues in growing up

"[at primary school] my identity, if you like, was like a hearing person - and I very much shunned the deafness bit . . . but now, you know, I'm comfortable being deaf . . . so that's changed really. My identity has changed a bit."
Postgraduate student

Social life

"When I was young the hearing world was more accessible because hearing children are more open and easier to communicate with. But as you get older, it's different."
University student

Planning and liaison

"The disability office was contacted as soon as I was nearing the end of my 6th year . . . and they acted immediately - they started arranging everything. Like getting me a computer so that I could keep in touch by email and arranging visits and things. They were really surprised how ealy I found it."
University student