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University students praise BSL training


Published by HearFirst for HearFirst in Communities and also in Education, Health

Students and staff from Buckinghamshire New University have praised the quality of deaf awareness training after attending a series of British Sign Language (BSL) courses as part of a specially organised week of activities.

The half-day courses, which were delivered in-house by award winning workplace training and consultancy company, HearFirst were organised during ‘activities week’, a week of free, interactive activities to support students’ academic achievements, to develop their entrepreneurship and improve their employability.

Following the success previous activities weeks, the University and Student’s Union organised another week of events which allowed students the time to engage in the extra curriculum activities that they may not already be able to part in.

The aim of the course was to introduce students to learn new BSL skills and develop both their signing ability and deaf awareness generally. Their new found skills will help them improve communication between themselves and people they may meet who are deaf, deafened, deafblind or hard of hearing.

Feedback from those who attended were very positive, with most commenting on how much they enjoyed the sessions and how they felt it would benefit them in future.  Feedback from delegates included: “The session is easy to understand and it was fun to be here and learn sign language.”  Another delegate said: “I plan on taking it further when I leave university.  This was a great introduction for me” whilst another commented, “Good summary and practice of basic understanding and skills/signs you may need to communicate with a deaf person or someone hard of hearing.”

Kate Blythe, Student Activities Assistant from Bucks New University, said: “Bucks Students Union is dedicated to providing opportunities to students to increase their employability and therefore enhance their CV. As many of our courses lead to a career in the service sector, having the skills to communicate to those who are deaf are invaluable and therefore, the reason I asked HearFirst to deliver their half day Introduction to British Sign Language Course.

“After the success of the course in our first Activities Week with extremely positive feedback from our students, I had no choice but to invite them back for our second Activities week of the academic year; which again gained superb feedback. I would not hesitate to ask HearFirst to deliver further sessions as it was a pleasure to work with them.”

The sessions were facilitated and delivered by HearFirst tutors who are all are deaf themselves. The purpose of this is to add relevance and depth to the training and Julie Ryder, Director and Founder of HearFirst, said: “Our sign language course was extremely popular when we organised the training during a previous week which was held last year.  Due to its popularity, I was delighted that we were invited back to hold another course this year.

“The students and staff who attended the course embraced the training and the feedback has been really positive.”

For more information on Deaf, disability awareness and BSL training, please contact Julie at HearFirst on 01706 872 816 or visit


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