For Rahim Karim, artificial intelligence is not just a fascinating field – it is also a potentially revolutionary tool to help the deaf community.

Leeds Sixth Form College student Rahim, who is profoundly deaf, is celebrating achieving A grades in A level maths, further maths and physics.

Those grades were achieved with the assistance of his sign language partner, Fiona Hudson, who has been supporting the 22 year old throughout his education.

He is now looking forward to starting a Computer Science with AI degree at the University of Leeds. Rahim is fascinated by the possibilities that artificial intelligence could open up and wrote his EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) on the subject of how AI could help people with hearing loss.

First class support

Speaking at Leeds Sixth Form College on A level results day, he credited his ‘amazing’ teachers for his success and is now looking forward to the next stage of his educational journey.

He said: “I feel good!

“Maths and further maths were very enjoyable because we had excellent teachers and I got along really well with them; that made it easy to remember what I learnt.

“I enjoyed physics too and the teacher was great, easy to get on with, had a lot of deaf awareness and was good at making everything visual.

“And the management team at the college were also really helpful and supportive.”

Overcoming barriers

As well as the extra educational challenges posed by having a hearing disability, Rahim also had to contend, like all students, with remote learning.

He said: “I was ok working at home and knew I could ask if I got stuck. It was difficult to start with but we got used to it.

“I got on with everything pretty well though there were some barriers in everyday situations – for example if I was in the library and my interpreter wasn’t with me, but I wanted to ask something.

“But we usually managed, and all the teachers had a lot of deaf awareness.”

Looking forward

He added: “I haven’t really got a celebration planned, I’ll go home to tell my family and maybe go out with my friends.

“I’m just really excited about going to university!

“For others who are about to start their A levels I’d say believe in yourself, work out what you’re capable of achieving and form strong relationships with your teachers and those you can work with to achieve your goals.”