‘Craftivism’ helps make Dundee deaf-friendly

Nine deaf young people did their bit to help make Dundee more deaf-friendly by taking part in a workshop at the Dundee Contemporary Arts centre this week.

A series of ‘Craftivism’ (Crafts in Activism) workshops, run by the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS), used arts and crafts to show deaf young people how they can campaign, raise awareness of issues affecting them and lobby for change.

Supported by a team of four Teachers of the Deaf led by Barbara Burns, Head of Dundee Multi-Sensory Service, the deaf young people prepared their ideas and designs before learning printmaking techniques and producing deaf awareness posters to display around Dundee.

The workshop was running for the second time in Dundee, with the final workshop this year set to take place in Greenock on 29 May. In previous years, events have seen deaf children benefit in Dingwall, Falkirk and Fife. The workshops have already visited Orkney, Perth and Falkirk this year.

The workshops are part of a scheme called Civic Participation, a three year initiative funded by the Scottish Government to involve deaf young people in the British Sign Language (Scotland) Act.

“It was fantastic to work on this project with these incredible deaf young people from the Dundee region,” says Lois Drake,Policy and Campaigns Officer for the NDCS.

“Deaf young people are just as capable as their hearing friends, but they still face many barriers in life. As a result, the NDCS wants to ensure has all of them have the best opportunities in life and these workshops are a big part of that ambition.

“We want to inspire deaf young people to believe that they can change things for the better and empower them to aim just as high as their hearing peers.”

Deaf young people in the Dundee region can get more support by joining the National Deaf Children’s Society’s Young Campaigners Network or Tayside Deaf Children’s Society.

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Lynda Hamilton Parker is a Scottish PR expert and independent publisher

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