Deaf Action is a deaf-led organisation that exists to support the diversity of deaf people, including deaf users of British Sign Language (BSL), and those who are deafened, deafblind or hard of hearing. By offering a range of services to deaf communities in Scotland, we strive to remove barriers for deaf people and empower those that are so often marginalised or disadvantaged in society.
Communication is at the heart of everything we do at Deaf Action and being able to support the growth of BSL is very important to us. With deafness and signed languages becoming more visible in the mainstream media, interest in BSL has soared in recent years. What this has meant for BSL course providers like Deaf Action is a waiting list full of potential new deaf allies and people keen to explore the deaf world for themselves.
However, to facilitate this we need skilled deaf tutors, which is why we are proud to offer the Introduction to Tutoring programme credit rated at SCQF level 6 with 14 credit points.
The programme is aimed at deaf people wanting to branch out into a career in teaching BSL. It is suitable for those with no teaching experience and also for experienced or current tutors that would like to further their practice.
Taking place over four weekends, the 80-hour course covers areas such as lesson planning, creation of teaching materials, delivery and review of teaching sessions, and understanding different learning styles. Ultimately, the programme is geared towards providing students with the skills and confidence to teach effectively.
The level 6 credit rating has undoubtedly increased the level of credibility of the course. Not only does this provide a clear pathway into tutoring, but also helps to ensure future BSL students can get the best out of their learning. This in turn feeds into the experiences and daily lives of deaf people right here in Scotland.
One of the participants from our programme is Mitchell Graham. Since completing the course in 2019, Mitchell has gone on to head up Deaf Action’s youth services, supporting deaf young people’s personal development, and delivering vital BSL classes to deaf children and their parents:
“The course has given me the tools to identify exactly what my students need and deliver a truly tailored learning experience. Communication is integral for the identity and development of young deaf people, and I am proud to be able to facilitate this.”
Tutors play a vital role in bridging the gap between deaf and hearing communities; and with every student contact they make, there is the potential for greater inclusivity, wider access, and that equality for which we all strive.
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