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I'm a Clinical Scientist who first came across Sign Language on a list of possible "O" level subjects, too many years ago to remember. It piqued my interest but, despite later having a hearing-impaired colleague, I never did anything about it (too lazy/busy/ insert excuse here!). My next significant exposure was reading what I think was “A Maiden's Grave”, by Jeffery Deaver, which introduced me to the D/deaf community of America, albeit in a very dramatic manner. It opened my eyes to difficulties I had never considered.

My son, who has Down’s, uses Makaton so I have learnt some signs but it was his 4-5yr old classmates who happily learnt, used and exceeded my paltry vocabulary that shamed me into finally signing(?) up for this course. I know they are different but I am hoping BSL will give me a grounding for Makaton and, perhaps with time, the ability to help as an interpreter within the NHS.



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