I want to thank Hagley College for the supportive environment and for helping me kick start my future!
I started at Hagley College in 2009. I was one of the four deaf students who pioneered the newly formed Van Asch Deaf Satellite Unit. The teacher in charge was Bryanna O’Regan.
Like most teenagers I had no direction, and of course being profoundly deaf didn’t make things any easier. The deaf unit subjects were my grounding but there were many other things I gained from being a student at Hagley.
In 2010 I won a trip to Gallipoli as part of John Key’s Travelling Contigent to commemorate ANZAC after winning a nationwide Cultural/Arts competition for youth.Bryanna also insisted I enter a New Zealand Sign Language speech on the effects of war on families (thanks Bryanna, I learned a lot from that cultural experience, something I will always treasure).
The unit gave me access to mainstream classes with support workers. I enjoyed this type of environment. It made me feel inclusive and not afraid or fearful because I lacked hearing and talked funny. I was able to study a mainstream subject that suited my impairment and I chose fashion!
My last year and a half was under the guidance of Vicki Dixon, HOD of Fashion. I started developing manufacturing skills in fashion. I achieved my National Certificate in Clothing Manufacturing and National Certificate Level 3 in 2012. Thanks for shaping and developing a talent I never new I had Vicki!
Today I am in my first year studying a Bachelor of Design at Otago Polytechnic. So far I’m managing my papers with deaf support and resources at hand. The course is 80% practical. It’s a lot of work but I’m learning heaps, meeting new friends and having fun along the way. I want to thank Hagley College, and Van Asch Satellite Deaf Unit for allowing me to make choices, for the supportive environment and for helping me kick start my future!