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Deaf teenager encourages others to follow their dreams

Posted Apr 17 2009 12:39am

A teenager is indulging her love of animals and wants to inspire other deaf youngsters to follow their dreams.

Elinor Scott, 17, of Newport, Wales, is the only deaf student at Coleg Gwent College's Usk campus. She helped organise a countryside experience day and will introduce 30 deaf people to animals, offer tractor rides and pond dipping.

Miss Scott, who sufferers from the rare genetic disorder Usher Syndrome, hopes that by seeing her pursuing a dream of working with animals, they will realise they can follow any career path. “I just want to be a positive role model,” she said.

“There are lots of deaf people at Cross Keys campus as it has the facilities and many think it’s the only option. But it would be lovely to have more deaf people across every campus, studying topics they really want to do.”

Miss Scott has never let her disability stand in her way. She's a former British disability shot putt champion, British deaf U/13 backstroke champion and works part-time at Bristol Zoo, where she has completed 40 hours' work experience.

WIth the help of interpreters, she can explain to visitors about creatures like spiders, iguanas and snakes.

Miss Scott attended Elmfield School for Deaf Children, Bristol and hopes to study Land-based studies for another three years.

Her father Ian, a Pontypool campus lecturer learnt British Sign Language as did her mother Catherine, who now teaches deaf children in Bristol.

Miss Scott teaches fellow students sign language at lunch times and wants other deaf children to see how easy it is to go on to further education.

Read the full story at the South Wales Argus.

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