Kristy Cooper, project manager for Deaf Get Active and volunteer at the charity Living Options Devon.
“I am a Project Manager for a project called Deaf Get Active and volunteer at Living Options Devon. We and Active Devon are in partner to seek and engage sport/activity organisations. The project has been funded by Sport England for three years and its aim is to bridge the gap between the non-deaf and deaf community. To engage sport/activity providers and deaf community such as local clubs and other social events. This project offers opportunities for non-deaf and deaf to become buddies, also works with partner organisations to upskill them in becoming more inclusive.
“For me deaf awareness week is about promoting, networking, signposting, improving education, peer support, sharing ideas, reaching out to harder to reach deaf community, reaching non-deaf people to bring the wonder of sign language and deaf culture to their doorstep!
“My top tip for coaches supporting deaf children, young people or/and adults is that it is never too late to learn. Prepare to be amazed in what deaf and sign language is all about! There is so much rich information out there, do not be afraid to Google ‘Deaf’ and ‘Sport’.
“Finally I would say be active and friendly, to learn few sign languages can transform a deaf person’s well-being, it is all about being inclusive, it is a miniscule effort that can lead to greater things.”