School Culture

Phillip Wyatt: An Oral Education

Phillip was born in 1959 in Bristol. He attended a local special school for deaf children in Bristol from the age of two. Then at age eleven he went to a residential special school for deaf children in Surrey, continuing on to the school's residential sixth form college.

Here Philip talks about having an ‘oral’ education and the equipment he had to use in school.


At that school, they never used sign language… it was an oral, lip reading education. One thing I absolutely hated about that school, was having to wear the headsets. Back then we also had to wear radio aids that hung around our necks. If you tried to sign, you’d get caught up in it. I didn’t like it at all. The teacher’s didn’t sign at all, we had to lip read everything. It was frustrating! I had the benefit of being able to go home to my deaf parents and deaf sister, not worry about hearing people, and be able to sign.

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