Two  deaf students have defied the odds by graduating from Northbrook College Sussex with creative degrees as they look to take the next step in their lives.

Andrew Mayes and Jason Gogos were supported along the way by the Worthing college’s sensory support coordinator Annie Rees and the college’s sensory support team.

Annie, who is a teacher of the deaf, worked closely with the students, in particular on their dissertations.

Jason began his degree in textile design low on self-confidence, which led him to nearly give up on his studies, but Annie and Jason’s communicator Bobbie Zoutewelly managed to persuade him to try again.

Within another week he was back at college.


Jason said: “I’m so glad I came back as I’ve grown so much in confidence and feel I’ve completely changed.

“The support I received from Bobbie and Annie was fantastic and I can never thank them enough.

“When I came to college I didn’t want to put pen to paper and now I have a degree.”

When asked about his future he said: “I would like to work in the fashion industry and hopefully even open my own business in the industry.”

Andrew, who gained his degree in theatre make-up and hair for theatre and media, said: “I wasn’t really worried about the course before starting as I felt I had real support from the college.

“Annie was really supportive and encouraging and I also had excellent support from my communicators Alison Pollard and Paula Kennett. I was never left without a communicator.

“I hope to work in special effects for theatre or cinema in the future.”

Annie said: “We as a team are all immensely proud of Jason and Andrew.

“They were both committed students who worked extremely hard and their achievement is outstanding thanks to the dedication of the staff and tutors who worked with them.”