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Ruari defies his deafness and graduates

By Lisa Smyth

One of Belfast Metropolitan College's students will today graduate proving that being deaf does not mean that academic success is impossible.

Ruari Bradley first came to the college in 2000 and since then has achieved a number of qualifications and accolades.

Focusing mainly on IT and multi-media studies he is the only person in the HND multi media class of 2007 to go on and work towards a BA Hons in multi media at Leeds Metropolitan University.

What makes his achievements even more outstanding is that Ruari was born deaf - a fact which he has never once let hamper his academic pursuits.

After completing a course in woodwork as part of the Jobskills programme, in 2001 Ruari switched over to focus on computer studies - a discipline that he soon found he had a natural aptitude for.

With assistance from the Belfast Metropolitan College's Centre for Inclusive Learning-Development (CIL-D), Ruari achieved an GNVQ/AVCE diploma in multi media before attaining an Access qualification in computing.

From this Ruari moved on to successfully complete an HND in multi media which he finished in June this year, before moving to Leeds to continue on with his studies.

A keen photographer, with a sharp eye for detail, Ruari plans to use his highly developed visual skills with a career in web design. Already he has built a website for his father's quarry industry and intends to hone his skills even further over the coming year.

With more obstacles to overcome than the average student Ruari has received continued support from the college's sign language interpreter, Heather, over the past five years.

Sitting in with Ruari during his classes she interprets all that is going on and supports his interaction with fellow classmates. This service forms part of a number of different offerings supplied by the college's CIL-D.

Set up to support students with a wide range of disabilities, including visual and physical impairment, the centre works in partnership with the college's various departments to ensure that individual student needs are met.

Individual assessments are undertaken for each student, before the centre contacts the relevant course team to make them aware of the student's specific needs.

If needed, an awareness course for the relevant tutors is organised and further assistance provided for the student. This is then assessed every few months.

An avid footballer, playing for the Belfast Deaf United football team, to help him relax after a busy day's studying, Ruari is on track to succeed in his next goal - a successful web designer.

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