Coleg y Cymoedd is delighted to be working with the Welsh Government to support its ambitions to deliver British Sign Language courses to its employees within the Welsh Government.
Coleg y Cymoedd has a proud history of its provision of British Sign Language courses and a commitment to the Deaf community; and was pleased to secure the tender to provide this pilot programme.
The 15- week programme saw 15 employees with little or no experience of BSL enrol in November 2018 with the aim to raise awareness and the use of British Sign Language in the workplace. The course involved face to face teaching and also an online Level 1 BSL course (Welsh Regional dialect), this is the first full Level 1 in the UK; and has been produced by Course Tutor Sarah Lawrence.
The first cohort of staff enjoyed the initial course and some have now progressed on to an extended 15 -week programme. It is envisaged the delegates will complete and achieve the full BSL level 1 qualification.
Course tutor Sarah Lawrence, a first language BSL user holds the highest- level qualification in BSL, being the only BSL teacher in South Wales who teaches the IBSL Level 6. Sarahâ€™s employment at Coleg y Cymoedd spans over 20 years and her reputation for teaching excellence has led to her work on the standards of BSL teaching for the British Deaf Association.
The pilot has been successful, with positive comments received from the Welsh Government employees, one member of staff said â€œWhen I was offered the opportunity to participate in a BSL pilot programme I jumped at the chance. I had experienced some engagement with BSL in the past, which had planted the seed of interest. Learning a new language can be daunting but Sarah and Simonâ€™s enthusiastic and engaging teaching style made the whole experience very rewarding and enjoyable.
The online resource enables us to practice between classes, I am looking forward to continuing my BSL learning journey furtherâ€.
Rhondda Cynon Taff
Heol y Coleg
Rhondda Cynon Taff