Good Vibrations: Deaf students get the surprise of new equipment which enables them to “feel” music
After six-months of fundraising, the Performing Arts department at Allerton Grange School have succeeded in purchasing a SubPac, allowing deaf students to feel music.
The journey began in September 2016 when a new student, Tyrone Mahata, joined the school in Year 7. Tyrone, who is profoundly deaf and is supported in mainstream classes by the on-site Deaf and Hearing Impairment Team (DAHIT), has a passion for dancing.
The school's English and Drama teacher, Miss Natalie Sellers, worked with Tyrone after school choreographing his dance technique in order for him to showcase his skills at the Winter Talent Show in December.
Ms Burgess, who works with Tyrone as a Communication Support Worker, and Miss Sellers worked together to communicate the dance moves to the beat of the music.
Tyrone’s performance at the Talent Show captivated the audience, receiving a huge round of applause and flashing hands, which represents clapping in British Sign Language.
A bake sale and auction was held as part of the event to raise funds for the SubPac, and the generous audience and staff dug deep to raise over £250. After a top up from the school, the order was placed and the SubPac was delivered at the end of the spring term.
Tyrone opened the surprise parcel surrounded by his peers and staff from the DAHIT team. Since practising with the SubPac, Tyrone has recently performed a free-style dance piece at a staff briefing, bringing a tear to the eye of many of the staff in attendance.
Headteacher, Mr Mike Roper, said “Tyrone is an inspiration to all of our students. He has pursued his passion and overcome the barriers he has faced along the way, tackling them head-on and with confidence.
“It’s brilliant that new technology is now available to enable deaf students to feel music allowing Tyrone to continue dancing. Thank you to everyone involved in fundraising to make this possible.”
Tyrone said “I like the pack. It’s improved my dancing. It’s easier for me to feel the beat. I can dance in time to the music better.”