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10 October 2005

Debating for the Deaf

The following e-mail from the British Debate mailing list caught my attention. If anyone can help please log on to for more details (don't send it to me I don't have contact details for Robert).

I'm chair of the society for the first time, and responsible for the training programme, too. Our recruitment effort is still in full swing, but one thing really caught me completely by surprise. One of the students who signed up to debating is a girl who is either completely deaf, or very hearing impaired. I was told that she needs to lip-read. I absolutely want to make her debating experience as pleasant as possible, and support her in every way I can - but I am rather baffled as to how to best approach the training. Has there been any precedent. Have there been deaf debaters before? How should I adjust the training programme to meet her needs? I know there are some fantastic debaters with disabilities around, but I must admit that I have never encountered a debater with a hearing impairment before. I want to make sure that we give her the best training and opportunities we can offer, so any advice would be very much appreciated.

Thank you very much in advance for any advice

Kind regards

Robert Holbach(University of Glamorgan Debating Society)

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