Hundreds of deaf and hearing impaired children tried out circus skills, crafts and other fun activities at the 2015 Deaf Expo in Maidstone.
The event on Sunday, organised by Kent County Council, Health and the Kent Deaf Children’s Society (KDCS) brought hundreds of families together to meet new people, get advice and have fun.
Funded by KCC Short Breaks and KDCS, the expo at Maidstone Leisure Centre was opened by Phil Gallagher also known as Cbeebies’ Mr Maker and youngsters got the chance to go swimming, get their face painted, do crafts, and have fun on the bouncy castles and soft play.
As well as activities for the children, the event offered stalls with the latest advice and information related to hearing impairment, such as speech and language therapy, assistive equipment and the support available from schools and charities.
Roger Gough, KCC Cabinet Member for Education and Health Reform, said: “Hearing impaired children may be the only students with hearing difficulties in their school which means they and their families can feel isolated.
“We wanted to bring families together across Kent to show them what help is available and help them build their own networks of support, as well as have a lot of fun.”
Louise Henley, chairwoman of Kent Deaf Children’s Society, said: “KDCS aims to provide a community for deaf children and their families in Kent.
“The agencies and I involved in arranging this event, have compiled a showcase of what’s available to deaf children in Kent covering Education, Health and Social activities.
“Deaf children are all too easily isolated in a hearing world, through a general lack of Deaf Awareness and barriers to communication.
“We hope this event builds confidence and self-esteem in the deaf children attending and enhances the knowledge of all.”
Kent County Council offers specialised advice, information and support for children with sensory needs and their families.
Further information can be found at www.kent.gov.uk