Roger, a young man who is profoundly deaf with severely limited vision and a learning disability, was first introduced to the DofE by a friend who had cerebral palsy. After seeing how fantastic and accessible the DofE is, Roger’s parents and support staff encouraged him to start his programme, and he went all the way to Gold!
One of the most challenging parts of Roger’s programme was the Expedition section. After a trying practice expedition, Roger and his DofE Leaders found a fantastic open expedition in Gloucestershire. The group catered for Roger’s needs perfectly, with everyone learning some basic signing to enable him to participate fully, and he was able to complete an inspiring Gold expedition.
As part of his DofE programme, Roger joined a local walking which he still attends. This would have been extremely difficult for Roger had it not been for the valuable communication and social skills that his programme taught him.
Roger also re-designed some of Exeter City Council’s walking leaflets for his programme. Using large print, symbols and images, Roger’s leaflets are designed to be accessible by all. The leaflets have been trialled by people attending a day centre run by the deafblind charity, Sense.
Through Roger’s courage and determination, not only has he received his well-deserved Gold Award, he has also been named deafblind person of the year 2011 by Sense.
“I’m really pleased to have completed my Gold Award. It was hard work but lots of fun. It’s inspired me to take on new challenges – I’m planning to try as many Olympic sports as possible in 2012”.