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Students ask people to zip it for deaf awareness

29 April 2015

Lyndsey Boardman

UCLan students organise Deaf Awareness Week events

Students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have marked Deaf Awareness Week with five days of sponsored silence to highlight the barriers that people with hearing difficulties face on a daily basis.

The 21 students from various courses are spending Monday to Friday communicating using only gestures, sign language and other basic signs to raise awareness and encourage more people to understand the world that deaf and hard of hearing people live in.

The Zip It campaign is one of several events organised for Deaf Awareness Week by UCLan students who make up the ZipIt team. The team is also hosting information stalls, BSL introductory classes and raising additional cash through cake sales for three charities; The National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS), Action on Hearing Loss and Sense.

“Deaf Awareness Week is a national event aiming to encourage people to be open to using other forms of communication than just speech.”

Alison Wallace, Vice Chair of UCLan's Deaf and British Sign Language Society, commented: “Deaf Awareness Week is a national event aiming to encourage people to be open to using other forms of communication than just speech. Preston, whilst small, has a strong deaf community who are proud to be sign language users. I feel it is important to raise awareness of sign language because it is a truly beautiful language.

“As a group of six first year BSL and deaf studies students we have organised all of the activities. The team as a whole have been amazing; putting 110% into planning even after a full day of lectures and with deadlines on the horizon. It has been a long road organising our Deaf Awareness Week events with hiccups along the way, but I am proud to say we have worked together to create what we hope will be a successful series of events which we can carry on next year.”

For more information on taking part or following the progress of the Zip It participants follow the hashtags #ZipIt #DeafAwarenessWeek and #HearingTheDeaf on Twitter or email zipituclan@gmail.com