DPDC at Sign Circle 2014 – Report

DPDC_Sign Circle 2014
Deaf Parents Deaf Children Sign Circle Workshop (Photo from Sign Circle’s Facebook page)

Deaf Parents Deaf Children hosted a workshop for deaf parents of deaf children at the Sign Circle festival at the Longridge Showground in Lancashire. All parents introduced themselves to each and told everyone briefly what their current challenges were.  The workshop was very lively and heated, topics such as Secondary Schools, Level 6 Interpreters, speech and language therapy, SEN statements and so on were all covered. Thank you to everyone who popped into the tent to join us – always so good to get an injection of like-minded parents!

Several action points came out of the workshop – to summarise they were:

  • DPDC Camping Weekend in Summer 2015 – While everyone is committed to support Sign Circle as it is a special event for everyone, there was also a shared appetite to organise another DPDC Camping weekend, as the last event was cancelled owing to the poor weather in 2013. So watch this space with details regarding a DPDC Camping Weekend in August 2015!
  • Sharing resources – One parent suggested that we all explore ways of sharing resources and tactics with regards to the different battles we all face when fighting to ensure our children get the education they deserve.  It was agreed that we would set up a members only section on the DPDC website where there will be resources and advice on various topics related to being a deaf parent of a deaf child.
  • Membership – Some parents were not aware that you could be a member of DPDC which means you get first priority to DPDC events which often have a long waiting list at a much reduced rate. DPDC Chairman Nick Beese said that he will send an email to everyone with the membership details and look at ways of improving the PR. Membership of DPDC is a one off £20 payment per family. To read more about  DPDC membership and how to join please click here!
  • Sign Circle DPDC Camping Zone – All parents said that the camping zone was a big success, kids love the space, parents were happy about being close to the amenities and info tent, new families have been able to find the group and introduce themselves and learn more about DPDC.  Parents agreed that we should book the zone every Sign Circle.
  • Other families – Parents said that there are still many families who are unaware of DPDC and the events and support that the group offers. Everyone agreed to play their part in spreading the word about DPDC and telling people to become members.
  • Derby Deaf Drama Xmas Panto – Sadly there is no 3D (Derby Deaf Drama) Xmas panto this year as the theatre is being refurbished, so there will be no December event.
  • Next DPDC Event – October 18th in Wolverhampton – The next parents workshop and Halloween themed activities for kids event will take place in Wolverhampton in October. Keep an eye on the DPDC website and social media pages for more information. 
  • Future DPDC events – Everyone was encouraged to try and organise more days out for families to meet up. It was agreed that the format used for the Bowood event works best, as the group walk and exploring of the grounds gave great opportunities for kids to make new friends and for parents to have time to chat and discuss topics related to being a deaf parent of a deaf child.  It was agreed that we should explore other similar National Trust parks around the UK. Escot in Devon is currently being explored for an event in Spring 2015.  If you know of a suitable venue for a DPDC event please don’t hesitate to organise it – just send us an email and we will help publicise it!

We all had a fantastic time at Sign Circle along with the other 800 campers! There was something for everyone and the kids loved the huge range of fully accessible activities and workshops that were organised!  A big thank you to the Sign Circle organisers Phillippa Merricks and Paul Challinor for making the DPDC Camping Zone possible and for putting on a great festival! Roll on Sign Circle 2015!

Deaf Parents Deaf Children Camping Zone – Where is everyone?!

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