Deaf Day is a free annual event hosted by City Lit’s Centre for Deaf Education where the Deaf community come together, socialise and walk around the different stalls. And yes, we were there on Saturday 23rd April and we did ourselves proud!

“I want to say a big thank you to everyone who came to support us at Deaf Day at City Lit. It was fantastic to see you all, and to be able to put faces to the names I know so well. It was really important for IOCN to be present at Deaf Day. We had many conversations with Deaf and hearing people, interpreters and non-interpreters. I think the biggest shock was from the Deaf community was the fact that we exist. They were absolutely amazed and began to realise what representation really means, so I feel we are doing something really important. There were a lot of heartfelt moments and many Deaf people coming up to our table felt quite emotional to see IOCN at Deaf Day. We still have a lot of work to do. People are noticing us, supporting us and appreciating us, so we need to continue what we are doing. I was absolutely exhausted, but exhausted in a good way. Thank you all!” – Audrey Simmons

From top left, clockwise: Tamara Jenner with Yvonne Beckford, Jacqui Beckford with Melissa Banton, Leigh Okadiegbo with Jacqui Beckford, Azaria Francis with Beverly Roberts

“Wow! What a day that was! Thanks to everyone who worked hard on the IOCN stall and to everyone who popped by to say “Hi!” The response from the people who came to see us was amazing. Lots of people said about IOCN, “Its about time!” A great response to our first event. The organisers of Deaf Day selected us to have a stall because we offered something that was different. They commented that they were really pleased we were able to attend and they really supported what we do. Now everyone is slowly finding out who we are which is very exciting.” – Azaria Francis.

Snacks en route going home after an amazing day!

“It was my first time visiting Deaf Day as well as meeting some of the members of IOCN I felt…connected!”

-Melissa Banton

“Such a lovely day representing IOCN and much applause for the work the Network has done so far.”

– Shaunett Harris.

Jacqui Beckford, Kate Bohdanowicz (Association of Lipspeakers) and Beverley Roberts, who was working two stalls: Association of Lipspeakers and IOCN

“Well, what can I say Deaf Day was fantastic! Amazing!! Our stall was very busy and I was exhausted. It had been a long day, given that I was up at 5 am on that day. I never stopped signing. I was in conversation with different people, all day. They asked so many questions about IOCN, who we were, they were amazed and had never heard of us before. It was fantastic to be able to explain to them and answer their questions. For IOCN to be at the Deaf Day event, I would say it was definitely worth it. Fantastic! Well done to everyone who was there. Thank you IOCN for inviting me to be a part of the team on the day. It was an absolute privilege”. – Beverly Roberts

Azaria Francis and Audrey Simmons

Audrey with Troi Lee, from Deaf Rave showing us a lot of respect and praising our network

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