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Supporting Children in Kent with Special Educational Needs and Disability

deaf expo


Deaf Expo

18th September 2022,

Cornwallis Academy, Maidstone


Deaf EXPO 2022

In 2022 Kent held a Deaf Expo event. The event was a chance to see what is on offer for deaf children in Kent, including information from education, audiology, charities, speech and language therapy, assistive equipment and much more. The event offered a great opportunity for families to expand their support network by talking to professionals and other parents as well as offering fun activities for children to join. The event was organised by Kent Sensory Service and was supported by Kent Deaf Children’s Society (KDCS), BSL Community and Medway Sensory Service. This year we had new location at Cornwallis Academy in Maidstone who provided us with a great venue.

We had over 40 stall holders attend Deaf Expo 2022 offering useful advice and information to families, from Health, Education, NHS, Mental Health, Charities, Hearing Aid Equipment, Cochlear Implant equipment, Signing Choir and BSL providers.


There was also a range of activities for children and young people including; a Petting Zoo, where they were able to hold reptiles, fluffy bunnies and a hairless guinea pig. A variety of arts and crafts was available including making stress balls and face painting. We also had a magician demonstrating mind blowing tricks to everyone. Finally, lots of children enjoyed a bouncy castle and an inflatable assault course.


We offered a collection of talks in a lecture hall for families including;

‘Musical Bumps’ by Margaret Lewin,

‘Deaf CAMHS’ by Alexander Corbett,

‘Genetic Test for Hearing Loss’ by Dr. Thomas at East Kent Children’s Hearing Service,

‘Hearing and Hearing Tests’ by Dr.Harris at West Kent Children’s Hearing Service,

‘SEND Information Hub’ by Natalie Blower and Sarah Maclaren at SEND Partnership and Engagement Team,

‘Specialist Employment Service’ by Jo Robinson and Charlotte Burford at The Education People,

‘MED-EL, The Hearing Implant Company’ by Otilia Varga,

‘Developing Your Child’s Independence (8-18)’, by Heather Fletcher at NDCS; and

‘The Interactive Classroom’ by Tony Murphy at Phonak'.

This event enabled our families to have an enjoyable, free day out watching their children participate in range of activities with other deaf children. At various times throughout the day the Signing Choir performed a collection of songs which was amazing to watch and brought the whole hall to a standstill.

We had excellent feedback from professionals and Learners about this event;

‘I loved the choir, very touching, being able to speak to people, receiving information.’

‘We really enjoyed ourselves, it was lovely to meet the families as well as the professional service companies.’

‘The bouncy castle, seeing people sign and when somebody was doing magic tricks.’

80% of families strongly agreed with the following:

  • We really enjoyed the day
  • There was a good range of activities available for our children
  • There was a wide range of information