I am a self employed British Sign Language and Deaf Awareness Trainer. I communicate using BSL.
I set up my own business in August 2010 after I was made redundant from the local college where I had taught for over 25 years.
I deliver BSL courses at Levels 1, 2 and 3. There is a mixture of deaf and hearing students at various training centres/Deaf centres across the North West.
I work both daytime and evening time.
The Students who join a Level 1 course may not have had any experience of Sign Language previously, so it is essential that I need to be able to communicate important information to them in the initial stages of their course. Examples of this would be Health and Safety information, Learners policy and agreement, details of the course, payments and the assessment process, complaints procedure. I have a question and answer session at this stage and I need communication support at this time. I usually run approximately 4 or 5 of these classes a week and BSL foundation course
I also deliver regular Deaf awareness sessions to local organisations. These are delivered to hearing candidates and cover a range of topics such as communication techniques and Deaf culture/history and education. This equates to approximately 15 hours per month (based on half day tuition). These sessions can be either full day or half day duration. It is essential that I have communication support at these courses to convey all information to the customer.
I also travel to schools and Colleges and deliver BSL education on Diversity days or inset days with the most recent being, Stockport Academy and Bolton College. It is essential for Communication Support during these sessions to enable full communication to be provided for all parties. These days are very involved, and generate a lot of question and answer time, including conversations. It is important that I fully understand the question so that I can respond accordingly ensuring full understanding and portrait a professional image.
In September I will be visiting Ashton High School, Preston, 3 hours a week for the academic year (40 weeks). I will be teaching Deaf Studies and BSL. For this role I will require communication support. This will assist to further engage and educate the pupils with their varying learning needs.
How my Deafness/Disability affects my job
I communicate using BSL. This affects every aspect of everyday life. However regarding my professional career as a BSL tutor, I require Communication Support for most aspects of my job, even helping in the preparation of this report. This help enables me to access all the information necessary to be successful in field. My CSW can provide fluent, accurate interpretation between BSL and English for things such as telephone calls, emails, letters, and verbal conversations, amongst many other issues.
I require the use of a Communication Support Worker to conduct my work. I will require Communication Support on a weekly basis to support myself with the following aspects of my role; attending meetings, negotiating with organisations, discuss training packages for staff, making and receiving in-depth telephone calls and translating information from BSL to English such as NVQ standards and student course work in order for me to give feedback. I also need Communication support for courses in order that important information is conveyed.
I am trained by Signature, the governing body for BSL teachers. I am required to attend ongoing training courses for profession development and standard. During this time, Signature is responsible for providing communication support for this time.