The video, which was written and directed by the students and funded by Milton Keynes Council, includes two versions of a typical school day. Filmed from the perspective of a girl with hearing impairment, it clearly shows some of the challenges she faces.
The project came about after a group of students realised they were all experiencing the same issues in daily school life. They wanted to find a way to tell everyone in schools – from teachers and support staff to other students, how they could make things easier.
The aspiring film-makers also hope it will send a message to other students with a hearing difficulty that they are not alone.
As part of this project, students with hearing impairment were asked a series of questions to help debunk some common myths and misconceptions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does it help if we speak louder?
No! We need you to speak clearer not louder. Sometimes a loud voice is really distorted. It helps if you face us too. We are all different and have different needs. You do need to check in with us please.
When is it best to talk to you?
Again, this is an individual thing. Most of us would prefer talking to you outside of class so that we don’t feel ‘different’. Obviously a quiet place gives us the best chance to hear you oh yes , and we would rather not miss our breaks or lunch!”
What sort of noises bother you in class?
Well probably the same as you ..badly behaved students! If we are sitting next to a fan it isn’t good or a ‘tapper’ (students who play with their pen) or if the door to the corridor is left open.
Surely managing without equipment helps you prepare for when you are out in the real world?
We have been given equipment that we need and our ears won’t magically get better if we don’t use it. We need our education and so we all need to work together to make sure all the equipment is working.
Why don’t you just speak up about what you need?
Because we are teenagers…we are trying to fit in with our friends and we don’t always want to ‘make a fuss’.
Plus…we may sound rude; learning to be assertive takes time and teaching.
Our school is inclusive so you can make friends with anyone. Why do you want a special group?
Everyone makes friends with people who have similar interests to them and so do we – like rugby, music etc. but one of our interests is our hearing difference. It is part of who we are and we are proud of it. It’s good to talk to other students who know what it’s like - we can relax and have a laugh at things that can seem really bad when we are on our own. It isn’t a special group really just a group of people with an interest in subtitles!