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The Norfolk Summer Deaf Festival launched for the very first time on Friday 14th July 2017 at the Forum, Norwich. It was an action-packed day with Chris Fonseca, a deaf dancer from London teaching everyone how to dance. Students from City Academy Norwich sold doughnuts, teaching everyone basic signs at the same time. We had a range of wonderful stall holders and signing choirs from Colman Junior/Infant School. We even had inspiring role models telling us the importance of sign language in schools and the journey of being deaf in education . Dotty Pottery from Norwich provided ceramic tiles to decorate which were taken away to be created into artwork for the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and this was unveiled in 2018.

John Smith then performed his comedy act during the evening at the local Deaf Centre which was a hit and helped to raise vital funds to continue running this event next year.

Take a look at some of our pictures!


The Norfolk Summer Deaf Festival returned for a second time on Friday 13th July 2018, a date which might be unlucky for some but not for us! We began to establish our committee this year which included Beverley Cliff, Matthew Talbot, Malcolm Sinclair, Ellie Parfitt (Deafie Blogger), Claire Gebbett and Eleanor Craik.

NSDF18 was opened by the Lord Mayor of Norwich himself along with the unveiling of the artwork created last year by deaf children and adults which now displays proudly in the Norfolk and Norwich Audiology Department.

Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) also made an appearance to tell us about her life as an deaf adult and her inspiring work campaigning for womens rights amongst many other things. A truly inspiring woman born and bred in Norwich.

Chris Fonseca came back but this time to run a workshop with a youth group whereby students learnt a routine to perform, it was a lot of hard work but they were all amazing and should be very proud of themselves. Chris Fonseca was keen to join in the day and even performed some dance routines to keep the audiences entertained. John Smith was our host for the day along with his trusty water gun, a favourite for some but not others! Thank you John for doing such a good job. Other entertainment included Daniel Jillings talking about the BSL GCSE campaign, Hearing Dogs talking about their work, the NDCS mobile, Colman Junior School Choir, Lowestoft Choir, Joyce Dunbar a local deafened author reading her children's book and so much more. It really was a full day.

To round it all off, Ish gave a workshop on Visual Vernacular in the late afternoon at the deaf centre with a performance in the evening. Check out some of the photos of the day!


After running the festival for two years, we decided to listen to your feedback and try a two day event so that people could bring their families at the weekend. This was the first time we had tried this and wow, did we enjoy it!

On the Friday 24th May we opened with Paul Whittaker and David Ellington both famous inspiring deaf role models. We saw some fantastic performances from Colman Junior School/Sprowston Junior School, Lowestoft Choir, Aylsham School and Clare's School. Children and adults learnt how to draw the human skull and the various muscles in the face used to create expressions, an important part of British Sign Language. ToyLikeMe presented their new display demonstrating the wide range of deaf adults doing a wide range of jobs, proving that the world is your oyster, you can do anything if you set your mind to it. We even had the fantastic Terry's Poi and Circus Skills teaching us circus skills, an instant hit with the children!

Friday evening meant lots of us headed to deaf pub to socialise with our friends and get excited for the next day's activities.

Saturday included visits from hearing dogs and their owners, a signed song workshop by Paul Whittaker, storytime with David Ellington, various talks on tinnitus, deaf awareness and the deaf brain. We also had Raymond Antrobus (winner of Ted Hughes Prize 2019) and Donna Williams, both deaf poets run workshops, teaching us how to write poetry and they performed their fantastic writing which gave us all goosebumps. Globe Theatre introduced the BSL Shakespeare Synopsis Project, running both a translation workshop with Dr Duncan Large from the University of East Anglia and an opportunity to watch their work and feedback thoughts and ideas. It was a fantastic afternoon and the interpreters barely stopped!

Saturday finished with Ray Bradshaw, a Child of a Deaf Adult, sharing some funny moments of his life with his deaf parents at the Arts Centre, a fantastic end to a fantastic two days.

NDF20 was cancelled :(

The Norfolk Deaf Festival 2020 is the year where we had a brand new name and logo. unfortuntley we weren't able to run it this year.


Norfolk Deaf Festival goes Virtual!

Watch this space for more details about the day!

Norfolk Deaf Festival 2021 will be going live on YouTube at 10am on the 28th May 2021. We have so many exciting things planned!! Follow this link on FB for more information!