Day 1 – Monday 11th November 2013
Today was my first experience of what’s to come this week as I started my apprenticeship at One To One Support Services. Although I was a little bit nervous, the guys at One To One were lovely and welcoming. One to One offers a wide range of services that we’re going to explore throughout the week.
Today, I tried British Sign Language, something I’ve wanted to learn more about since first trying it at school. Sarah, Judith and Pete (who had a big bruise on his face from playing football for the England Deaf team against Brazil last week!!) taught us the basics of signing a conversation, and by the end, the whole class had learned a simple conversation. Sarah helped translate what Judith and Pete were signing to help us newbies and the trio not only made learning easy but fun.
One thing that really struck me is just how wonderfully expressive sign language is without actually saying anything. Like spoken language, accents and facial expressions can completely change the meaning of a sentence. It really is an incredible way of communicating, especially as you consider how vital it is to those who need to use it every day.
Through Sarah, Judith and Pete explained to me the every day trials of being a deaf person. From stand-up comedy to going to the dentist, they brought up a number of everyday situations that they find difficult. For this reason, the service that One to One are offering here is really imperative. Whether you’re a “Stage 1” level signer or you’re at a “Stage 6” level of ability, it really makes a huge difference in every day communication.
Today I tried an introductory lesson, but day and evening classes are available at their Training Academy, so there’s no excuse not to learn! Plus you get to meet some very inspirational and wonderful people.