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Address: 22 Forest Road West, Nottingham, NG7 4EQ Tel: 0115 970 0516 | 0115 978 6984

History of NDS

1868

1868

Alderman Cropper set up the Nottingham Institute for the Deaf and ran Bible classes in sign language from his own home.

1890

Mr Greaves, who was deaf himself, took over and re-organised the Institute, which became the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Adult Deaf Society.

1891

The Society moved to Friends Meeting House, Park Street.

1896

1896

Mr Blount joined as the first Treasurer and later took over from Mr Greaves. He changed the name to the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Adult Deaf and Dumb Society and conducted religious services in sign language, interpreted lectures and visited people with serious illnesses.

Mr Green joined as Secretary and was also founder of the School for the Deaf on Clarendon Street.

1922

242 deaf ex-servicemen returned to Nottingham after the First World War and the Deafened Ex-Servicemen’s Association was integrated with the Society.

1926

The first lip reading classes were formed to help ex-servicemen.

1930

building2

The Executive Committee bought the old Paton College buildings on Forest Road West and the Grand Opening took place on January 29th 1931.

During the Great Depression of the 1930’s, the Employment Bureau was formed to support Deaf people into work.

1935

The Society’s reach was extended to include deafened people and the hard of hearing.

1937

boots and shoes

The Boot and Shoe shop was opened.

1939

During the war, the school was evacuated and moved to Southwell, the building was used by the Home Guard and the basement was held as an air raid shelter.

1948

The Society became a registered charity under the National Assistance Act.

1953

building5

150 members watched Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation on the newly installed TV.

1954

The charity agreed with Nottinghamshire County Council to work as a Welfare Agency, helping people throughout the county.

1956

The first Social Workers for the deaf were employed.

1960

1891

The school at Forest Road West was closed and the children moved to a new school – the Ewing School on Mansfield Road.

1961

The Youth Club was formed.

1966

boots and shoes

After nearly 30 years, the Boot and Shoe shop closed.

1970

A Sports & Social Club was set up in the old library with the newly granted bar licence.

1975

The first BSL classes for hearing people were run.

1978

building4

The charity was re-named the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Society for the Deaf, and the constitution was updated.

The Lunch Club was formed.

1979

The Social Work Service with Deaf people split off and moved to the Ropewalk.

1983

With the Society’s support, Deaf people started being trained as BSL tutors.

1985

library

Nottinghamshire County Council was the first local authority to create the role of Sign Language Interpreter.

1988

The Society purchased its first Minicom.

1989

A number of members achieved huge success at the New Zealand Deaf Games.

1990

building6

Our Centenary Year included a visit from Princess Diana, who opened the new office space and met several members, and lots of amazing fundraising efforts.

The Interpreting Unit was formed.

1994

Major alterations were made to the building and everything was re-located to a Portacabin temporarily.

The Ewing School closed and local deaf children are now taught in ‘Individual Needs Centres’ based in hearing schools, or they’re supported in mainstream schools.

1995

The Society changed its legal status to a Company Limited by Guarantee (alongside its charitable status) and became the Nottinghamshire Deaf Society.

1997

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The Befriending Scheme began. Nottinghamshire County Council adopted a bi-lingual communication policy in education, giving BSL equal status with English.

1999

A new out-of-hours emergency interpreting service was set up, the one-year trial is still going well today!

2002

The Welfare Rights Service started.

2003

2003

The government recognized BSL as a language in its own right.

2005

The Volunteering Project began.

2008

2006

The Direct Funding Group, made up of deaf and hearing volunteers, was established to raise funds to support the community centre.

2010

The constitution was altered to include the East Midlands. BSL Classes at the Society started again.

2015

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The Society’s 125th Anniversary!

There are lots of ways you can get involved in our anniversary celebrations.

Find out What’s On and how to Get Involved? Or feel free to Contact us with your own fundraising ideas.