Azar Hafizi, aged 20, is a student at Communication Specialist College Doncaster. Here, as part of Doncaster Deaf Trust’s 190th anniversary celebrations which are taking place throughout November, Azar tells us all about his experiences of being a student at the college and the difference it has made to his life.

My name is Azar Hafizi and I have been a student at Communication Specialist College Doncaster for three years now. The college is a leading, national specialist college for those with communication needs and offers a great learning experience in an environment that is designed to meet whatever your specific needs are. In my case, I am deaf and communicate using sign language.

I am a residential student at the college because my family live in Cambridge, so I live and study here in Doncaster and go home when I can to see them. Having a good specialist education is important and there isn’t a college on my doorstep that could meet my needs.

I can honestly say that since coming to Communication Specialist College Doncaster my confidence and knowledge have improved hugely. I am much more independent and enjoy the responsibility of looking after myself by doing my own cooking, cleaning and washing. I also have lots of deaf friends now which has made me really happy. I go to a deaf social club and they have lots of parties where I really enjoy getting together with other deaf people.

Working with the college staff has also really benefited me. Particularly, Madeline who helps me a lot to improve myself for the future and Suzie has supported me to find work experience which I have really enjoyed.

I get lots of 1-to-1 help with college work, all the teachers sign, and my English, maths and IT skills have really developed while I have been a student here.  Not only that but I have been working hard, with the help of Mark, on my driving theory test. I don’t think I would have been able to do these kinds of things without being at the college.

In the future, I would like to get a job in admin and IT but I may move to Holland with my father and I feel that this area of work maybe more difficult to succeed in. In this case another avenue for me would be art and photography.

I would definitely encourage other young people who are deaf to come to the college for the help and support you receive and the friends you can make. It would be great to have even more deaf students here so I hope the college continues to grow and develop even more.

I am really proud to be part of a college that has been supporting deaf people for 190 years – its important deaf people are supported to reach their full potential. I would like to thank everyone at Communication Specialist College Doncaster who has supported me.