Doncaster Deaf Trust started life in 1829 when a number of philanthropists made donations for the founding of a School for the Deaf in Doncaster. It opened with 11 male pupils and one head teacher, the Rev. William Carr Fenton. The school expanded and grew until eventually, the Doncaster Deaf Trust was formed and today the Trust manages a nursery, a school, a college, a residential care home, residential accommodation for 100 students and an employment skills unit, all located on our 24 acre campus on the outskirts of Doncaster. Over the years, our focus has changed slightly too, so that now we serve children and young people with disabilities classified under the umbrella term ‘Communications Deficit disorders.’  This includes children and young people who are deaf/hearing impaired or who have Autism Spectrum Disorders, including Aspergers, Rett and Down’s syndromes.

The nursery, school, college and care home are all wholly owned subsidiaries of the Doncaster Deaf Trust, which was officially recognised by the Charities Commission on August 15th 2001. The College has its own identity, being known as the Communications Specialist College, Doncaster; a step that allowed us to join The Association of National Specialist Colleges (NatSpec) in 2002.

What we do

We deliver the national curriculum plus an extensive and industry recognised Skills for Life programme, British Sign Language and a broad range of vocational training, including: Motor Vehicle Engineering, Catering & Hospitality, Hairdressing & Beauty, Horticulture, Media & Office Technology, Computer Aided Design, Sports Recreation & Leisure Studies, Joinery, Construction and Photography.

We provide a large number of on-site specialist support for our children and young people too, including; speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, counselling, occupational therapy, rebound therapy, on site nurse and audiologist, emotional and behavioural support and 24/7 highly qualified and experienced care and teaching staff.

Mission

To empower and support individuals to be resilient, independent and skilled to enable them to achieve their future aspirations and live fulfilling, independent, lives.

Just as the school has grown and developed and become part of the Doncaster Deaf Trust, the types and range of disabilities that we help with have also evolved. Our children and young people all have a disability listed under the umbrella term; ‘Communication Deficit Disorders’ which includes; Downs Syndrome, Ataxia, Fragile X Syndrome, Cohen Syndrome, Coffin Lowry Syndrome, Duane Syndrome, Gushers Syndrome, Genetic Deafness and Hearing Impairments,  Aspergers Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Conditions.

What we do here isn't just about education. We aim to equip our young people with all of the skills, experience and abilities necessary to live independent lives. Think about that for a moment. Imagine never being able to be in charge of your own destiny; never being able to work or earn a living and so not be able to decide where you go, when you go or who you go with; never being allowed to decide what to spend your money on. That's part of the life that awaits anyone who cannot achieve independence.

Our impact on the lives of the young people we care for, on their friends and families and on the communities in which they live is therefore, HUGE! Instead of living life on benefits, our young people work, earn a living and pay into the system. Rather than needing expensive social care, our young people are able to care for themselves. Instead of relying on others to get around, our young people can travel independently.

Can you imagine NOT being able to do any of that -  no? Then why would we accept it for anyone else?