Adapting to being a deaf student at University

By Luke Smith

Charlie Sandall (centre) with the DMU golf team

Going to university as a deaf student is one of the biggest challenges they can face. Adapting their life to suit their surroundings, but also being confident enough to stand up and live with a hearing impairment.

Charlie Sandall is a student at De Montfort University. He has suffered from a hearing impediment his whole life, but had to learn to adapt since going to university.

“Coming to DMU wasn’t too bad because I know that they cater very widely for a lot of disabled students, including deaf students, so the process of coming to university itself wasn’t too bad,” he said.

“Obviously on a social level, it’s a lot different. You have to get used to being in large crowds and socialising. In that respect the university still helped me though, providing me with equipment when I needed it to help aid that situation.”

Charlie is in his second year, studying advertising and marketing communications. However, his aim at DMU is to help new students who also suffer from hearing impairments by offering advice and help for those new students.

“You’ve just got to really get yourself out there,” he urged. “On a social level you really just need to push yourself, put yourself in those awkward situations, people will understand so try not to shy away from those situations.

“On an academic level you need to be very conscious. Make sure everybody around you is aware. For example, in group situations, tell people. Don’t be ashamed of it, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. People are really understanding these days. I’ve not come across anybody who’s been confused or annoyed about it. Just be open minded.”



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Deaf statistics courtesy of Government Digital Services
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