Friday 14 December 2018

Deaf student uses sign language to announce new Exeter City signing

‘A lot of people on social media were asking them to ‘sign someone’.’

Kenny using sign language (Exeter City and Exeter Deaf Academy/Twitter)
Kenny using sign language (Exeter City and Exeter Deaf Academy/Twitter)

By Emily Chudy and Edd Dracott, Press Association

Announcing new signings on social media has become an almost competitively creative endeavour for football clubs, but Exeter City’s latest try is something unique and special.

The EFL League Two side invited Kenny, a 19-year-old student of the Exeter Deaf Academy, to use sign language to tell fans about their new player – centre-back Aaron Martin.

The Exeter Deaf Academy helps young deaf people from ages five to 25, all of whom have additional needs including autism, epilepsy and physical disabilities, to sign.

In the video, Kenny spells out the name “Aaron Martin” using fingerspelling, a method of sign-language that equates to the alphabet so that deaf people can make words or names for which there is no designated sign.

“Exeter City tell us their social media posts attracted a great response and we are really touched by the City supporters’ positive reaction to Kenny and the interest it has created,” Helen Trebble, Marketing Manager at Exeter Deaf Academy, told the Press Association.

“They told us a lot of people on social media were asking them to ‘sign someone’ and thought it would be great to make the public announcement on the transfer by inviting one of our students to sign his name in BSL (British Sign Language) on video, and we were more than happy to help!”

“Kenny has a special talent in visual media, and a keen interest in filming and editing his own news stories in BSL for YouTube,” continued Helen.

“He is a huge advocate for promoting deaf awareness, and has just completed his Level 1 Media course at Exeter College with Merits and Distinctions.

“We do a lot of work in the community to promote deaf awareness and have built a strong partnership with Exeter City Football Club.

“They frequently work with us to provide sports coaching for our students and have worked hard at their Club to remove many barriers to attendance that deaf people often face when going to a home game.”

You can find out more about the Exeter Deaf Academy on their website.

Press Association

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