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January 28, 2005

Deaf pupils celebrate anniversary

From: BBC News - London,England,UK - Jan 28, 2005

More than 100 deaf children from schools across Northern Ireland will perform dance and drama to celebrate their talents.

The event on Friday marks the diamond anniversary of the National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS).

The pupils will exhibit artwork inspired by Hollywood movies as part of the NDCS Diamond Oscars.

After the performances, each school will be awarded an 'Oscar' by Uncle Andy from the BBC's Give My Head Peace.

Jill Black, NDCS Northern Ireland Arts Officer, said one of the biggest barriers deaf children could face was isolation because communication with others was much harder for them.

"Having the chance to take part in drama, art and other after-school activities helps break down barriers, and encourages deaf children to develop self-confidence and social skills," she said.

"That's why NDCS wanted to do something to congratulate deaf children and their schools for setting up these opportunities.

"A Diamond Oscars ceremony seemed a great way to do this - and to mark our diamond anniversary."

The awards will be based on the children's contribution to the production, whether through visual art, drama, dance or animation.

It is estimated that about 840 children are born in the UK every year with a significant hearing loss.

Every year a further one million up to the age of eight experience temporary deafness and discomfort caused by 'glue ear'.

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Published: 2005/01/28 07:39:04 GMT