Monthly Archives: March 2014

Deaf awareness at the education Show

Stephen Briggs from Get Deaf Aware
Stephen Briggs from Get Deaf Aware

Signature is the new name for Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People (CACDP). I got my BSL stage 1 qualification with them many years ago. Then that was their main function. They accredited courses on Deaf awareness and British Sign Language. Mostly these were for individuals like me who needed to communicate with deaf people as part of their work

At the Education Show in Birmingham last week I met Stephen Briggs from Get Deaf Aware. The whole world of deaf awareness has grown and developed beyond recognition. Now they have a full range of e – learning courses from as little as £10 a course.

They run courses for retail, transport, health and public sector but are now doing so much more for schools too. With more deaf children in mainstream than ever before it makes sense to accommodate their needs and what could be  better than  letting Deaf children study their native language at GCSE level and give BSL the status it deserves ?

Make use of e-learning and get your staff to do a Get Aware course It can be completed in an hour, is simple and fun and there are no time limits or deadlines.

Business was brisk at the Education Show as more schools signed up to make their staff deaf aware. P’raps it  would be a good thing to so in your school as well?

Tablets transform lives for deaf people

Ian Noon, Head of Policy and Research at the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS), showed me some of the advances in technology for deaf people when I was writing my article for Access magazine.  See the full article here ian noon

iPads and similar tablet technology has revolutionised life for deaf people and let them use services in a less ‘special’ way.

Ian uses an app to call a taxi, and now uses Twitter to receive live updates on train services and send queries to his local operator in the event of a delay;. He uses it on a plane to watch films with subtitles instead of just getting half the story.

Many films are available with subtitles, but cinemas are, however, still commercial businesses that want to keep regular audiences on side. They tend not to schedule subtitled screenings at weekends or on ‘Orange Wednesdays’, which is when Ian’s hearing friends usually want to go. He can therefore see some of the latest films at a nearby cinema, but only if he is content to go on a Monday or other less busy time, and then probably on his own.

He is hoping the Google Glass headset will make a difference to his life. Their ‘subtitling specs’ should soon be available. Wearing them he will be able to see subtitles which are invisible to others.

The Ed Show Cometh

The Education Show is coming very shortly (20-22 March) and I have to say it has improved immeasurably over the years. Although it is on my doorstep at the NEC in Birmingham it used to be my least favourite show.  I felt it was very unfocused offering everything form sink plugs to robust crayons to school visits and the latest high tehc offerings from computer manufacturers. It is now a lot more fun.

Things I have loved in recent years have included seeing the tallest man in the world folding himself up to get in a lift, seeing Peter André lecturing a group of head teachers about why ‘Education is Very Important’ and seeing a man demonstrating the delights of wok cookery. What with the flashing chopper, hissing oil and sizzle of vegetables it must have given school bursars and staff health and safety reps much to think about.

darawebThis year the Ed Show has gone all cerebral on us. Not the Fonz or a footballer but instead Professor Brian Cox on Thursday. Presumably he will be talking about Life the Universe and Everything and How Things Can Only Get Better. And indeed they will. Because on Friday we have the lovely Dara Ó Briain discussing the importance of Maths & Science.

I have lined up nine seminars I want to cover including Dyscalculia Strategies and Solutions, Introducing Enterprise to Children through Play and Working with Children Who Have an Acquired Brain Injury.

I notice that this year there are 33 exhibitors for science but only 6 for food.  Sadly, the man with the wok has had his day.