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Deaf Awareness Week: Launch of college sign language glossary

03 May 2019

More than 50 staff at City College Norwich have collaborated to create a British Sign Language (BSL) awareness glossary which will be launched at the college during Deaf Awareness Week (6th – 12th May 2019).

Over 250 signs have been individually filmed for the video glossary, which is being made available to all staff and students through the college’s Blackboard intranet.  

The BSL awareness glossary includes simple phrases, such as ‘Good morning’ and ‘How are you?’, which any member of staff can use to include signing students.  Here is an example from the glossary: the college’s principal, Corrienne Peasgood, signing ‘City College Norwich’

Staff from across the college, including Norfolk Educational Services support staff, have been involved in creating the glossary.  The process has provided a focus for discussion and learning around deaf awareness.  

The BSL awareness glossary is a companion to subject-specific glossary which has been developed to enhance the support for deaf students provided by the college’s signers.  This more in-depth glossary includes established BSL signs and others that have been created by college staff, with the involvement of signing students, for key words and technical terms that feature in Functional Skills, GCSE and some of its vocational courses.

Further resources to raise deaf awareness, including guidance for teaching staff who may have deaf or hearing-impaired students in their classes, are being highlighted to staff alongside the BSL awareness glossary.

The project has been led by Clare Byrne and Sarah Bell, from the college’s Curriculum Services Support team, supported by Rebecca Anderson, Technology Enhanced Learning Assistant.

Sarah Bell, Curriculum Services Support, commented:

“We want to do the best we can for the college’s deaf students.  The subject-specific glossary will make sure we have a consistent approach in the signs we are using, which in turn will make it easier for signing students to understand and follow what is being taught in their lessons. Our deaf students are really pleased as this will make it easier for them in class, and the accompanying notes in the glossary will help back up their learning.  

“It’s taken about a year to create the BSL subject specific glossary and it’s already having a positive impact in terms of raising deaf awareness.  It’s been really pleasing to see how staff from right across the college have responded so enthusiastically to the latest project.” 

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