FREE Online Bite-Sized Deaf Communication Skills Training!

Fancy learning something new in lockdown?

Thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund we are able to bring our popular Bite-sized Deaf Communication Skills training sessions to you online for FREE as part of our ‘Make It Clear!’ Campaign.

The session is for anyone that wants to know more about how varying degrees of deafness impacts on the daily lives of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people. It provides some useful skills that can be quickly mastered to begin communicating with any deaf or deaf blind person as your patient or their family member, colleague, or acquaintance.

On completion you will be issued an individual certificate of achievement. In addition, customer facing groups and teams will receive a, “We are Deaf Friendly” certificate for public display.

Various dates available throughout January, February and March 2021.
Places are limited. Booking essential.

https://forms.gle/eRoo37KuGoewgHZf6

Season’s Greetings

Thank you for your valued support in 2020. From all of us at WDDA we wish you a very Merry, Safe and Peaceful Christmas!

George Raggett, WDDA Trustee
Donna Cheese, WDDA Trustee

Check out our Social Media channels for some more festive cheer in the form of some beautifully signed Christmas songs and poems kindly performed by George.

Time to learn something new?

With coronavirus having put the world on hold for so many of us why not use this time to build your skillset and learn something new?

Given the current Covid-19 crisis we have temporarily moved all of our BSL classes online.  This means you can join our next ‘BSL Workshop for Beginners’ from home.

Qualification: None – Informal teaching and assessment.

Entry Requirements: There is no prior knowledge or experience required.

Course Details: The aim of the workshop is for you to develop and practice BSL skills at your own level. You will meet and sign with other students and tutors in an informal and fun online environment. It is a fantastic opportunity to prepare for the start of formal courses or assessments.

Assessment: There is no formal assessment, but the tutors will provide continuous feedback on your progress throughout the sessions.

Progression: The workshop will enable you to make informed decisions about other courses of study from Level 1 to 3 that you could move on to.

Workshop date: Saturday 12th December 2020

Time: 10am-1pm

Duration: 3 hours

Course Venue: Online via Zoom video conferencing platform

For more information, or to book, please contact admin@wdda.co.uk or complete and return the online enrolment form below.

Online BSL Workshop Enrolment Form

Coronavirus Community Support Fund success!

Funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, means that we will be able to provide clear panel face masks to our local d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing community free of charge. Thanks to the Government for supporting our ‘Make It Clear!’ Campaign and making this possible.

Wiltshire and Dorset Deaf Association have been awarded Funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund to build on the success of it’s ‘Make It Clear!’ Campaign.

This funding will also provide us with the opportunity to distribute clear panel face masks to local businesses and service providers and deliver Deaf Awareness and Communication Skills workshops as part of our ‘Make It Clear!’ Campaign.

For too long, retail spaces have been inaccessible for people with hearing loss. Whether this has been through the use of background music, a lack of hearing loops, or be failing to provide their staff with deaf awareness training. These barriers should not exist. The Covid-19 pandemic has only added to these barriers, with face coverings, physical partitions and social distancing creating a more difficult experience. Deaf people are known to be more likely to have poor mental health. We want to ensure that deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people in Dorset and Wiltshire enjoy equal access, opportunity and have the same independence as hearing people in order to reduce the risk of negative social, health and economic impact as a result of Covid-19.

Face coverings must now be worn by retail, leisure and hospitality staff working in areas that are open to the public and where they’re likely to come into contact with a member of the public. This includes:

  • shops
  • supermarkets
  • bars
  • pubs
  • restaurants
  • cafes
  • banks
  • estate agents
  • post offices
  • public areas of hotels and hostels

Wearing a clear panel face mask goes a long way to help remove barriers to communication for your d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing customers. To request a ‘Make It Clear!’ Campaign Pack and complimentary supply of reusable clear panel face masks for your workplace please email Zoe at admin@wdda.co.uk

‘Make it Clear!’ Campaign Launch

Wiltshire and Dorset Deaf Association is pleased to announce the launch of our new ‘Make it Clear!’ Campaign to get clear panel face masks in to circulation to help prevent further barriers to communication for the d/Deaf and HoH community. 

We are working with NooN Masks & Apparel to distribute an initial supply of clear face panel masks (along with details of how to go about ordering more directly) to local businesses and service providers to help raise awareness of the communication issues caused by the wearing of face masks.

A supply of clear face panel masks will also go on sale (at a heavily subsidised price) direct to members of the d/Deaf and HoH community who need them for themselves and/or family members.  Please email admin@wdda.co.uk to register your interest and/or pre-order.

Learn something new in lockdown

With coronavirus having put the world on hold for so many of us why not use this time to build your skillset and learn something new?

Given the current Covid-19 crisis we have temporarily moved all of our BSL classes online.  This means you can join our next ‘BSL Workshop for Beginners’ from home.

We are using the Zoom video conferencing platform.  You do not need a Zoom account to join a meeting.  You can join the workshop using a smartphone or tablet or laptop/PC.  All we will need you to do is ensure that you set yourselves up in a quiet space and sit 3-4 ft away from your device to ensure that your full torsos, hands and faces are visible on screen to all participants.

 

Day: Saturday 30th May 2020 10.00am – 1.00pm

Duration: 3 hours

Qualification: None. Informal teaching and assessment

Entry Requirements for BSL Workshop for Beginners: There is no prior knowledge or experience required

Cost: £15 (includes a certificate of attendance should you require one)

To find out more, or to book, please contact Zoe at admin@wdda.co.uk

 

 

Your nomination really counts

£1,000 could make a big difference to the work we do to ensure that deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people in Dorset and Wiltshire enjoy equal access, opportunity and have the same independence as hearing people.  That’s why we’d be really grateful if you could nominate us in the Ecclesiastical Movement for Good Awards.

Your nomination could be the one that wins us £1,000.  The awards are designed to give eligible charities in the UK and Republic of Ireland the financial assistance they need to help them make a real difference.  In total, 500 charities stand to gain £1,000 and we’d love to be one of them.

Winning would enable us to deliver Deaf Awareness & Communication training to local Nursery and Primary Schools in Dorset as part of our ‘Sign for Change’ campaign, breaking down the barriers to communication faced by pupils who are deaf or have a hearing loss and creating a more inclusive environment within our schools.

It’s quick and easy to nominate us.  Just visit movementforgood.com, click ‘nominate now’ and enter our details.  The closing date for nominations is Sunday 24 May 2020.

The more nominations we get, the greater our chance of winning, so please spread the word to your friends and family.

Thank you, as always, for your time and support

Join us in a VE Day 75 ‘Sign a Long’ at 9pm!

To mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day this nation has been invited to take part in a singalong of Dame Vera Lynn’s wartime classic, ‘We’ll meet again’ that will be broadcast on BBC 1 at 9pm on Friday 8th May.

As we face some of the most challenging times since the end of the Second World War, now more than ever it is important to come together and unite.

Thanks to members of our award winning sign choir Significance, St Clement’s Signs in Worship Group and Sign Language students from Skills and Learning (Blandford) we will be giving you the chance to ‘Sign a Long’!  You can join us in your home at 9pm on Friday 8th May.  The signed video performance will also be broadcast on our Facebook page.

Signs in Worship

St Clements Signs In Worship Group (SCSW) was established in 2015 in an attempt to provide a uniform platform for using signs and gestures in worship, particularly for contemporary church music introduced by the musicians of the Worship Band led by Colin Crabb, who lead the family services here twice a month.

Jesus be the Centre performed by St Clements Signs in Worship Group

The group currently has 7 members led by George Raggett, a Trustee of Wiltshire and Dorset Deaf Association (WDDA), who has been teaching British Sign Language for 18 years and was encouraged to introduce signing in worship by Stuart Dimes, a curate at the time and also a BSL student of George’s back in 2002.

However it was only when WDDA established their signing choir, Significance in 2010 with Isobel Heaton, Evelyn Riggs and George from St Clements as founder members, that signing in worship became a regular occurrence for special services at Christmas and Summer Concerts in aid of Romanian Orphanages attending holiday camps at the House of Grace.

Significance have been competing at the annual Jersey Eisteddfod of Performing Arts since 2012 where Sign Choirs from around the UK are invited to perform 2 contrasting pieces.  Inspired by some of the contemporary church music introduced by the worship band at St Clements, the choir always included one in their performance.  In 2015 they performed a firm favourite at St Clements, “10,000 Reasons”, by Matt Readman and were thrilled to be judged overall winners of the Sign Choir section.  They have since gone from strength to strength and were winners again in 2017.

St Clements Signs in Worship group FB Page

The SCSW group has 4 members who are hard of hearing and are joined for practices by supporters who attend other local churches where signing is also used.  Though St Clements is not regularly visited by profoundly deaf people who use BSL as their first language, preferring instead to worship at their own churches, they do come for the special services.  The clergy, Worship Band and congregation at St Clements are very supportive of the extra dimension the group brings to worship and all are encouraged to join in.  We love signing songs together, using everything but our voice to express ourselves and glorify God and our Lord, Jesus Christ.

During the enforced closure of St Clements due to the Social Distancing measures introduced to combat the spread of Coronavirus, the group have been meeting up once a week on Tuesday morning using online video links to sign songs to share via social media, read scripture and pray for the needs of the world.  We would welcome anyone interested, to join us at any time, now or in the future – you do not need to have previous experience of signing.  Founder member Jan Clark and Sally Pierce both joined when they first began learning Sign Language and quickly made huge contributions to both SCSW and Significance choirs, just as our two newest recruits, Michelle Merrell and Roland Newborn are doing since they joined.  So come on…..

‘Raise your hands all you nations, sign to God the whole creation, how awesome is the Lord most high!’   

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