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Julia French

Hi from Julia in Bedfordshire

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Hi,

I’m Julia and I live just on the outskirts of N. Bedfordshire.<br /><br />I’m a volunteer trainer for St. John Ambulance and I help to run a Cadet group (aged between 10-17), and we do all sorts of activities etc., not only First Aid. Currently we are doing a “Communication with the Deaf and/or Blind” course with them, and we had someone who was profoundly deaf come in, with an interpreter, and taught us a little bit about BSL, and it has re-sparked my interest in learning it again.<br /><br />I learnt a little about BSL when I was a Cadet myself about the age of 12 (hitting my 30’s this year…eek!), and also learnt some Makaton (although I know that it’s not used as much as BSL now), but watching the person who came in, really has made my interest in learning BSL come right back up again, and not only to be able to use it within my St. John Ambulance role, but also in my everyday work role as well.

For my everyday paid role, I am a Passenger Assistant and help take children and adults with special needs to and from school, home, day centres etc. in a car. Most of the clients I deal with have special needs and I have come across a couple of them who use BSL as a normal everyday thing…which when you don’t know much about it, can make the journey a little awkward. So learning BSL is definitely going to help my own communication skills as well.

I already know the BSL alphabet, and I am getting the hang of fingerspelling quickly, so that is definitely a help. But I am also interested in learning about signing normally as well. I am hoping to be able to start the online course (via here) hopefully this week, but I thought it would be a good start for me to sign up to the forum as well, so I can pick up other tips etc.<br /><br />Thank you for reading about me<br /><br />Julia x

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HI Julia, Welcome! It sounds like you have done some interesting stuff so far with signing. I think that no matter what job you do learning BSL would be helpful, even if it was just helping one person.

I’ve just started level 2. Quite a jump from level 1 but enjoying it. I have to describe people and faces etc. it is quite hard to do!

Enjoy learning! ? Bec x

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Hi Julia 

l live in Bedfordshire too, Houghton Regis, where are you? I am just coming to the end of level 2 and planning to complete level 3 by Easter. 

Pam

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    • Hi Lizz, My family are Wirral based and my daughter and myself have just this week signed upto learn sign language as my six year old grand daughter has developed some deafness so we are preparing for the worst.  That said we both are interested in learning BSL anyway.  Well done to you for deciding so young in life to learn & what a wonderful gift for your present condition.   I hope your total deafness is a long way off, Take care ChrisM
    • Hi, I'm Catherine, not sure what to do here as each time I clicked something it froze? Anyway, I'm 61 yrs young, I'm from the Wirral, Cheshire, UK. Long story short... At 16yrs of age I decided everyone should know sign language. I knew nothing about it apart from my brother had joined the specials police and was given the alphabet to learn. Of course, he never, but I did. And that was it, the start of my journey. I've signed every since. Taught myself from books, reality hard work! And later became an Interpreter for the deaf. Absolutely  loved my job but due to health problems I had to give up work. Devastated me as I loved it. But I've never stopped signing. Taught many people over the years and still do as and when I'm able. Then... I became deaf, 😮 I wear 2 hearing aids but they've told me what I have will eventually go totally deaf. It goes completely on me but comes back to the level I have, he said one day it will go and it won't come back. It was a struggle initially getting used to the deafness, but I'm not bothered, I was well prepared wasn't I! God has been very good to me. I use BSL and SSE, I'm probably way behind worth the BSL touch, but I'm never too old to listen and improve! I hope!  So I have communication and since I've taught all my friends to sign...it means I've plenty of people I can chat to! 😉 Sorry, that's a long post! 😱 
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    • Yes 100% what’s your skype name I’ll add you?
    • Hey, I'm 20 from England too currently learning BSL Level 1 and need someone to practice with, if you're still up for it?
    • Hi! I'm Laura-Jane, i'm 19 and am in my second year at University studying British Sign Language and Interpreting. I found this forum whilst looking for extra fingerspelling practice but I'm also looking forward to getting to know other people who also have an interest in BSL!  X
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