Manchester will host a prominent na​​​​​​​tional conference, “Positive Futures for Deaf Children” this week on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th March 2017, bringing an estimated economic benefit of £378,173 to the city. The conference will be hosted by The University of Manchester who train Teachers of the Deaf and The British Association of Teachers of the Deaf (“BATOD”), a national association and the only focused on representing the interests of teachers of deaf children and young people in the United Kingdom.

BATOD advances advance the status of Teachers of the Deaf and works to ensure and enhance the high quality of mandatory training of Teachers of the Deaf, and their continuing professional development.

Manchester, known for its "firsts" and wide ranging legacy from the cotton industry to music to (most recently) graphene.  So fitting is the well-used quote "What Manchester thinks today, the world does tomorrow" from Sir Robert Peel.

However, few people know of the amazing legacy of deaf education at University of Manchester.   After the first world war (1919) James Jones, a prominent businessman in the Manchester cotton industry founded the training for Teachers of Deaf at the University of Manchester.  This was in memory of his deaf son (Ellis Llywd Jones) whose wish was to fight for his country but he was denied this opportunity due to his deafness. He served in the soldier's canteen but sadly never fought. The legacy (a figure worth 4 million pounds in today’s money) was given to support the development of professional expertise that would be available to other parents with a deaf child.

Nearly 100 years later University of Manchester’s achievements in this field have been recognised worldwide and continue under the guidance of the only UK Professor of Deaf Education.  This week sees Manchester once again at the forefront, with landmark conference “Positive Futures for Deaf Children”. The University of Manchester believe that deaf children can do anything they want to do.  Their only limits are those that others place on them by having low expectations and failing to see the potential.  Bringing together two of Manchester’s strengths:  music and achievement in deafness, a group of profoundly deaf adults (4orte) will be performing a classical quartet in the evening of the conference challenging perceptions and pre-held beliefs. Manchester, once again, leads the way.  

The two-day event, which will take place 10th – 11th March at the Manchester Conference Centre, will see over 300 BATOD delegates to the city from as far afield as New Zealand.

Professor Wendy McCracken, The University of Manchester, and Manchester Conference Ambassador said, "The University of Manchester and BATOD are delighted to host our delegates from across the globe.  We know the city will provide them with a world-class experience highlighting Manchester's prominence as a world-class venue and center of Deaf Education"  

Nick Brooks-Sykes, Director of Tourism at Marketing Manchester, commented, It is our pleasure to welcome Positive Futures for Deaf Children to Manchester. With a thriving cultural scene, extensive facilities and strong international transport links, the city provides a comprehensive conference destination. We are confident this will support the University of Manchester and BATOD in creating a memorable event in Manchester which reflects its vision and promotes a positive legacy for years to come.”

Manchester looks forward to delivering an outstanding conference in 2017 and achieving the associations’ commitment to promote the education of all deaf children, young persons and adults.

For further information contact Professor Wendy McCracken

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