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The Elizabeth Foundation | Helping preschool deaf children and babies learn to listen and talk   The Elizabeth Foundation - Helping preschool deaf children and babies learn to listen and talk
   


Graduate's story - Jefferson

"I was diagnosed as profoundly deaf at 10 months old in 1994 and had a cochlear implant operation (in my right ear only) at the age of 3½ .

At primary school, there was a deaf unit which was helped me out in some respects although much of my academic progress was made during my time at a grammar school for the deaf, Mary Hare. At this secondary school and sixth form, I made some close friends and found my passion for all things design – especially graphic design.

Jefferson - former pupil at The Elizabeth FoundationAfter leaving the comfort of being in an oral deaf environment, I continued my studies at Portsmouth University and took a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. To begin with, I was very sceptical about whether I’d be successful. Fortunately, my lecturers and course mates were very helpful and made a real effort to make sure I was okay and I was up to speed with what was going on. This was all only possible because I was open about my problems (deafness and restricted vision) – I made it clear how people can help me.

Not going to lie, it takes guts to embrace the hearing world but the more people you make the effort to interact with, the easier it becomes and the more you feel you fit in. My philosophy is simple: be honest with the people around you and let them know how they can help you and you’ll put yourself and everybody at ease. Also, it’s very important to show appreciation towards people who make the effort to help you – this goes a long way with hearing people.

Now, I am working at Goodwood in Chichester (Google it!), writing my story now makes me realise how far I’ve gone in reaching my dream of being a successful graphic designer. I gained some experience (a couple of short-term jobs after graduation) before my current junior graphic design role and it’s really rewarding to work hard then get where you want to be.

Here are five things I pay attention to daily: How to enjoy myself, what I could do better, accepting bad days, good attention to detail and always being friendly."

 

   
 

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