Mon. Sep 26th, 2022

Lyla Magdy, 14, pictured here with Cavendish High Academy acting assistant headteacher Paula Burke, has started teaching sign language to businesses.(Picture: Runcorn Weekly News)

A determined Runcorn teenager has embarked on a mission to teach sign language to 50 businesses after deciding to act on her own experience of living with restricted hearing and vision.

Lyla Magdy, 14, had shared her signing skills with staff from three companies at time of writing, tailoring her lists of vocabulary for different sectors.

Supported by staff at The Cavendish High Academy and her family, Lyla has defied the limits of what her parents were advised to expect when she was just three months old.

Lyla, who has the rare CHARGE syndrome in addition to autism and is profoundly deaf and severely sight impaired, began her project during lockdown via Zoom last year and although her aim is to teach signing to 50 firms, her dream would be to teach “everyone” and to become a teaching assistant at Cavendish.

She’s already putting in the practice, having held 73 sessions to teach singing to her peers, holding regular classes for between 20 and 30 students.

Paula Burke, Cavendish acting assistant headteacher, said Lyla was “amazing” and has ambition “like no other”, demonstrating the reality of Ofsted’s description of the outstanding-rated Cavendish “as a school where people’s dreams become reality”.

Paula said: “Lyla’s dream is to teach everybody sign language.

“Her project is 50 local businesses that she wants to teach basic signs to, and the idea is – if someone from the deaf community goes in, these businesses will be able to communicate and the person who’s deaf will be able to get their needs met.

“Sometimes people give up, which she finds quite frustrating.

“She’s saying ‘don’t give up, give me a piece of paper or a phone and I can teach you these basic signs and don’t presume the deaf community can’t read or write.”

She added: “She has really complex needs.

“Despite this, she’s so determined and strong-willed.

“She calls herself ‘Wonder Woman’.”

Nicola Magdy, Lyla’s mum, called her a “superstar”.

She said: “I couldn’t be more proud of her.

“In everything that Lyla does she strives for perfection.

“She always wants to make everybody proud of her.

“She wants to make a difference, she wants to help people.

“That’s Lyla’s motto ‘…….


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