The University of Reading has announced the closure of its only inclusive course for deaf and hard of hearing students.
Theatre, Arts, Education and Deaf Studies, commonly known as TAEDS, had been threatened with closure due to poor student satisfaction ratings and student numbers, but there were hopes that it could be saved.
However, after intensive discussions the University of Reading made the final decision to close TAEDS on Thursday. It will now be phased out, closing fully in 2018.
When the closure was proposed a week ago, both current and former students came together and set up a campaign to save the course, dubbed #saveTAEDS. They also created a petition that gained 1,700 signatures and has been signed by deaf actress Sophie Stone, who recently appeared in a leading role on Doctor Who.
The students were intent on highlighting the impact that closing TAEDS, a course set to celebrate its 30-year anniversary in 2016, will have. There is nowhere else in the world where you can study theatre arts, education and deaf studies together, meaning TAEDS is not just an incredibly unique and important course, but also an internationally unique one.
The #saveTAEDS campaign petitioned outside a University Senate meeting on Wednesday, where they were joined by the BBC’s See Hear programme, which was filming in support of the campaign.