BSL Signature Approved Deaf Awareness Training for Healthcare Professionals in the UK

Raise your standards of deaf awareness in the workplace

Deaf people are at a disadvantage when it comes to healthcare. Communication is often difficult and many GP's and staff can't communicate with their patients effectively, often leading to poor communication and mistakes in understanding.

At Study Sharpe, we offer a range of tailored Deaf Awareness training courses and support services for businesses and professionals in the Healthcare sector which are designed to help staff and GP's understand how to communicate effectively with Deaf people. Our core focus is on helping businesses create an inclusive community internally and externally.

You’ll have access to our expertise and we will work closely with you in order to help your business operations become as diverse as possible.

Below is an outline of top rated bespoke Healthcare Deaf Awareness Course.

For more information about Study Sharpe's deaf awareness training courses or any other service we offer call 07746 060 547 Today!

Why train your Healthcare staff to service your deaf/Hard of hearing patients and their families?

If you run a GP practice, Health centre or manage staff within a hospital setting then you might be interested to know that 1 in 6 of your potential visitors and patients will be deaf or hard of hearing and may be trying to lipread you.

Miscommunication is all too prevalent within healthcare settings for deaf and hard of hearing people accessing services.  This then leads to mistrust of the services you provide and at worst, can cause unnecessary heartache, confusion and embarrassment for deaf patients which could so easily be avoided with appropriate Deaf Awareness training. With the wearing of face masks during the pandemic, this situation has worsened significantly for people who lipread to communicate and understand what is being said around them.

How do Study Sharpe help Healthcare Professionals?

The NHS has been criticised in the past for not providing adequate deaf awareness training for staff, despite this being a legal requirement under the Equality Act 2010. This means that many patients have experienced poor communication or discrimination during their hospital or GP doctor visits.

At Study Sharpe we offer bespoke, tailored training to your centre staff so that miscommunication is a thing of the past, resulting in your deaf patients feeling happy to return to you and reassured that they will be able to access your services and support with confidence.

How do we enable your Healthcare staff and Teams to become Deaf Friendly?

  • We offer remote flexible, bespoke training courses that can cater for your establishment’s needs.  
  • We are flexible to your staffing rotas by offering daytime, evening or weekend courses to suit, offering a short course of tasters or condensed training packages. 
  • We will train your staff in basic British Sign Language (BSL) phrases/vocabulary to enable basic conversations with BSL users in all aspects of your customer services.

By Engaging in the Access to Work scheme for deaf employees you can reduce the costs of enabling an inclusive and accessible workplace.

What accreditations do you have?

study sharpe deaf awareness signature approved bsl courses

We are proud to be a centre for Signature, the largest provider of accredited Sign Language courses in the UK who offer nationally recognised qualifications.  We are able to offer to deliver the BSL101 Introduction to British Sign Language (Healthcare) Certificate and also the British Sign Language BSL101 Frontline Staff course to your Frontline reception/customer facing staff.  This course covers basic communication skills and provides you with the essential tools to enable you to communicate about a range of topics in simple, everyday language use.  This course is delivered over 10 weeks but can be condensed into 5 longer sessions for ease of commitment. 

Alternatively, if this doesn’t suit, we can offer tailor made bespoke courses that offer similar content to the above course but are designed to suit the needs of your workplace and the needs of your key staff specifically.

Who is this Healthcare Deaf Awareness course for?

Unit BSL101 (Healthcare) is designed to provide a nationally accredited unit of BSL skills for people who work in healthcare services that may come into contact with Deaf people or colleagues. These may be as patients, service users, friends, or relatives of patients.

This course provides a basic knowledge of BSL skills only. Therefore, at its completion, learners will NOT be able to interpret complex situations – a registered Sign Language Interpreter should be booked to enable effective communication. (reference to book a Registered Sign Language Interpreter).

This course is 20 hours of learning in length but can be configured to be delivered in a time frame to suit your staff’s needs.

Healthcare BSL101 brief course outline

  • Address, greet and take leave of another BSL user
  • Learn the Fingerspelling alphabet for names and places
  • Use and recognise strategies for asking for clarification
  • Give and receive information about a range of activities which contribute to a healthy lifestyle
  • Give and receive information about a range of activities which can be damaging to a healthy lifestyle
  • Describe a range of health-related topics 
  • Ask about health using a range of appropriate vocabulary 
  • Give and receive information about various medical conditions and procedures Describe and give simple directions in a hospital or medical centre 
  • Ask for and receive directions using a range of vocabulary

Additional Course Topics?

In addition to the above topics, we also will also give you an introductory insight into the Deaf Community and Deaf Culture, as we believe this is an integral part of people’s understanding of Deaf people’s heritage and culture.

How do I find out more about Healthcare Deaf Awareness Training Courses?

Interested in our specialist courses for Healthcare professionals and practice owners? Then contact us today on 07746 060 547 or click the link below.

Healthcare Deaf Awareness Statistics

Many problems that our interviewees faced related to language, and a lack of Deaf awareness. Many healthcare providers didn’t seem to know that BSL is a language unrelated to English – meaning many BSL users who were born Deaf or lost hearing early in life have limited proficiency in English. One interviewee explained that many healthcare providers think all Deaf people can read, without realising that many BSL users don’t understand English – with many being given health information written in English that they couldn’t comprehend.

there is a significant lack of knowledge of how hearing impaired individuals suffer inequalities in accessing information within healthcare services. In particular in relation to BSL users and their communication needs/English language adaptations.

What Will the Cost Be?

We offer a range of fees that vary depending on the type of training, delivery (face to face or remotely), length of course and content. Courses can vary between tasters (2-3 hours), half day, full day or condensed 5 week or longer courses/rolling programmes of 10 weeks. Call Today to discuss the course to suit your business.

Do You Offer Bespoke & Individualised Courses?

We can tailor our courses according to what you are looking for in terms of staff or individual training delivery.We will discuss with you your precise requirements and then create an individualised learning plan for your needs. 

Why Choose Study Sharpe Deaf Awareness Training Courses?

Emm Sharpe is the Owner and Founder of Study Sharpe Deaf Awareness Training Courses. She first became involved in the Deaf Community in the late 80’s working for a charity supporting Deaf and Disabled young people in the classroom. 

Emm has been through many years of teaching and training experience and is an advocate for Deaf Awareness, accessibility, and inclusion for Deaf people.

She has worked within the prison service, healthcare, education in both Primary and Secondary schools and Further Education and Higher Education sectors. 

Emm holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Deaf Studies from Bristol University where she was fortunate to be taught by top Deaf Professionals. She also holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, as well as BSL Levels 1 – 3.

As a hearing teacher, she can offer an invaluable bi-lingual experience with hearing learners, to ensure the initial few classes are not too daunting.

Having worked with and personally known many Deaf people over the years and for various charities supporting Deaf and disabled young people, she has extensive experience of Deaf Awareness and Deaf Culture.

What our clients say

I wanted to find a course that gave me a basic understanding of British Sign Language for use in my business. I am passionate about my services being accessible to as many communities as possible, and being able to work with the deaf community particularly, really appealed. Having found and joined Emm's course I was not disappointed. Emm is passionate about her work, incredibly knowledgeable and patient and made every session enjoyable. She also took the time to make sure that we each understood what we were doing and went over any signs that we were unsure of so that when it came to the assessments, we were well-prepared. I found all of the information which accompanied this course (handouts etc...) to be of an exceptionally high standard and would definitely recommend this course and Emm to anyone who has an interest in or works with those in the deaf community. Course attended: Level 1 BSL Frontline Staff
AnnMarie Reynolds, Head of Publishing & Creative Director, begin a book Independent Publishers and Writing Services.
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"Some years ago, I wanted to make it possible for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people to access our services but I didn't know where to start. I attended one of Emm's courses, and as well as learning basic BSL, I also learnt a lot about the Deaf community and Deaf awareness, which has stood me in good stead. I also work with Emm and other partners on the North Somerset Deaf Awareness Week each May, and at the monthly Communication Cafe where hearing people meet the Deaf community and have a chance to practise our BSL. Having known Emm now for many years, I find her helpful and caring, as well as knowledgeable and professional."
Bridie Collier - Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Campaigner
As a busy breast screening department we encounter a wide range of people. Some of our staff members expressed an interest in learning BSL so we could offer a welcoming and more inclusive service to deaf and hard of hearing service users. Emm was extremely helpful in creating a bespoke 10 week programme for us which was delivered virtually via zoom. Our staff members really enjoyed the course and learnt some helpful background information which they were not previously aware of. The course was set at a manageable pace and covered all the essentials we need to start a conversation and then ask the relevant information required for the appointment. We are hoping to run another course again in the future.
Leeds and Wakefield Breast Screening
“I know Emm from our work together in preparation for and during Deaf Awareness Week, North Somerset and in her role at Weston College. Emm is highly enthusiastic, dedicated and reliable. She goes out of her way to help and support the local Deaf community and educate others on BSL and Deaf culture. She is approachable, welcoming and kind. I have an ongoing great working and personal relationship with her.”
Emma Holden - Communicator Guide and Intervenor Registered Manager
“I found Emm a very good and supportive teacher when delivering both introductory BSL courses for colleagues and Level 1 BSL which I personally undertook. She has a very good awareness and understanding of Deaf culture and language. She encourages students at every turn with her enthusiasm and depth of knowledge. Through my work around accessibility and disabled people I am aware of her work to champion the needs of Deaf people wherever possible. I would encourage anyone interested in learning BSL to contact Emm and sign up for one of her courses.”
Anthony Rylands – Access Officer for Disabled People Corporate Service Directorate in Somerset
"Emm Sharpe brings all the qualities you would expect of a specialist to every sessions she provides. Beyond this, Emm is so giving of her time with those she teaches ensuring they get all the support they need in and out of taught sessions. Emm’s enthusiasm for her subject reflects in her teaching and training and I feel privileged to have had the support and expertise from Emm for both myself and others over the last 10 years. "
John-Paul Anderson – Vision Impairment Trainer & Coordinator
"Weston Museum booked Emm to come and provide some training on sign language to the staff and volunteers. We thought that being an inclusive workplace and a disability friendly employer, we needed an awareness of sign language and to be able to do the basics. For many of us this was the first time we had encountered the language. Emm was very approachable and put us all at ease, describing what she had in store for us. We learnt some useful facts about deafness and then were introduced to the basics of sign language. I would thoroughly recommend Emm as a trainer. She is extremely knowledgeable, teaches at a manageable pace and also makes it fun. She is very patient and happy to answer questions and discuss scenarios. Thank you Emm!"
Jane Hill
“Emm Sharpe has been teaching Introduction to British Sign Language for Community Learning Service at North Somerset Council every term since November 2017. Emm delivers a great course for our beginners, who learn how to have an initial ‘getting to know you’ conversation using BSL and gain insight and awareness of what it’s like to be deaf or hard of hearing. I have high expectations of the quality of the course and promote it accordingly – as Emm always delivers. Emm creates an environment that is safe, welcoming and inclusive. Emm teaches BSL using methods that helps the knowledge ‘stick’. She keeps up a good pace of delivery that challenges individuals to participate and learn, whilst demonstrating kindness and patience to those who need a bit more support. ”
Julie Evans - Community Learning Development Worker Learning and Development, Corporate Services
"Em was my tutor when I studied BSL at college. From the first time I met her I realised that I would enjoy her lessons! Her knowledge and understanding of the deaf community is extensive. She has a passion which you can't help but feel yourself! She instilled a confidence and belief in me that I could achieve the results required and supported and encouraged throughout the course."
Christina Raby
Emm has been a great teacher, ensuring we had lots of fun along the way. She ensured we had a good understanding of the deaf community and kept things interesting by inviting guest speakers along to our sessions to share their stories. Emm provided us with handouts and useful links to support our learning. One of the main things I took away from the training was how I didn't feel pressured and that we had such a relaxed, fun experience the leaning came naturally.
Somerset Care/Realise
"Emm has been very involved with North Somerset’s Deaf Awareness week for many years, she has planned and produced events together with other agencies and the Deaf community. Emm has supported people from the Deaf community to provide Deaf Awareness and story time to local schools in the area. Both teachers and pupils have thoroughly enjoyed the sessions while learning about Deaf awareness and the basics of BSL. Emm has also worked with some people from the Deaf community to provide BSL/Deaf awareness ‘Taster’ sessions to both the public, council and health staff."
Liz Watkins - Social Worker with Deaf People and Single Point Access Team People and Communities
"I would like to take the opportunity to thank Emm for the comprehensive short course on British Sign Language she held for my colleagues and I in 2019. This was a five week course covering all the basics of sign language that we had agreed previously to help us support hearing impaired residents within our service. I would not hesitate to recommend Study Sharpe in this respect or hesitate to use Study Sharpe in the future."
Tracey Macdonald - Extra Care Team Manager
The team had a ball learning about the misconceptions of deafness and deaf people along with learning usable BSL. These skills have helped them to communicate with customers and family directly where they couldn’t before, further improving their care. We look forward to the next team starting soon!
Somerset Care
Emm came to our setting to deliver some BSL training. The beginners to BSL found the course easy to follow, with brilliant visual aids. It was interesting, informative and easy to follow. It has inspired us to be come more confident in BSL communication, leaving us open to extend our knowledge of BSL in the future.
Roundabouts Pre-School
"I have known Emm Sharpe for approximately two years in my role at Vision North Somerset as an Equipment Officer for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She is always spoken about with high regard among the members of the deaf community that I have met. I have always found her to be extremely supportive and very knowledgeable and always keen to enhance peoples understanding of how to ensure inclusion."
Dave Raby - Equipment Officer
I wanted to find a course that gave me a basic understanding of British Sign Language for use in my business. I am passionate about my services being accessible to as many communities as possible, and being able to work with the deaf community particularly, really appealed. Having found and joined Emm's course I was not disappointed. Emm is passionate about her work, incredibly knowledgeable and patient and made every session enjoyable. She also took the time to make sure that we each understood what we were doing and went over any signs that we were unsure of so that when it came to the assessments, we were well-prepared. I found all of the information which accompanied this course (handouts etc...) to be of an exceptionally high standard and would definitely recommend this course and Emm to anyone who has an interest in or works with those in the deaf community. Course attended: Level 1 BSL Frontline Staff
AnnMarie Reynolds, Head of Publishing & Creative Director, begin a book Independent Publishers and Writing Services.

More about Deaf awareness training

Deaf Awareness Training Course FAQ's

What Is BSL (British Sign Language)?

‘British Sign Language (BSL) is the preferred language of over 87,000 Deaf people in the UK for whom English may be a second or third language (A total of 151,000 individuals in the UK who can use BSL - this figure does not include professional BSL users, Interpreters, Translators, etc unless they use BSL at home).’ For More information click here

Why choose a Signature Accredited Course?

Who is Signature?

Signature is a national charity and are also the leading awarding body for deaf communication qualifications in the UK.  They have been awarding British Sign Language (BSL) qualifications for the last 40 years and have supported more than 450,000 people to learn BSL.

What is a Signature accredited course?

A Signature accredited course is a course that is certified and authentic in entity.  Signature’s qualifications are nationally recognised and regulated by Ofqual (the office of the qualifications and Examination’s regulator). This means that these qualifications reliably indicate the knowledge, skills and understanding needed by learners and that they have demonstrated through the assessment process what has been achieved.  This gives potential learners the confidence in the qualifications undertaken. 

How does becoming a Signature approved centre work? 

To become a Signature approved centre and to deliver Signature qualifications, potential centres must undergo a strict, formal approval process.  Each potential centre teacher that applies, must be able to demonstrate to Signature that they hold relevant teaching qualifications, professional experience in the subject they wish to teach and the relevant BSL qualifications to a higher level than that which they wish to deliver. Other specialist higher level qualifications in teaching practice are also highly recommended and desirable.

Signature regulate their qualifications and this formal approval process maintains this ethos.

Approved Centre’s processes during assessments are regularly checked for Quality Assurance purposes, to ensure that centres are adhering to all Signature Assessment guidelines, and that no learners are treated less favourably than others during the process. This ultimately means that every learner’s experience is of the highest quality.

Who would benefit from Signature approved courses?

The learner is at the heart of all we do here at Study Sharpe.

All learners undertaking a Signature qualification with us will be guaranteeing they will not only receive teaching expertise that is endorsed by Signature, but they will also gain a qualification that will be recognised by employers and industries alike.

Last but by no means least and perhaps the most important reason for undertaking Signature qualifications with us, is that you will be able to join the growing number of people in the UK who can communicate with a deaf BSL user.   Through our courses, you will become more Deaf Aware in the process, understand more about the Deaf Community and their rich heritage and Culture, thereby raising awareness to other people and sharing the benefits to all of learning BSL. 

So why not start your exciting BSL journey with us today?

What Solutions Does Deaf Awareness Training Offer?

The solutions that Deaf Awareness training offers are:

  • Create an inclusive and accessible business which will protect your reputation and increase its value
  • Ensure that the business culture is one of diversity and inclusion
  • Protection against legal action and tribunals
  • Open opportunities to employee workers from a larger pool of talent
  • Protect your business reputation against negative reviews or comments in local/national press, online forums and on social media.

By Engaging in the Access to Work scheme for deaf employees you can reduce the costs of enabling an inclusive and accessible workplace.

What is the benefit of Deaf Awareness Training for Businesses?

Why should we worry about Deaf Awareness Training?

  • Are you a business without any Deaf Awareness?
  • Are you making false claims about the your compliance with regards Deaf Awareness Understanding and Training?
  • Are you at risk of complaints/legal action from Deaf People who are accessing your services but not feeling included or having difficulty using your business?

In the current marketplace social media plays a large part in how our businesses are perceived both, internally and externally, and offers instant feedback to our services or products.

You could be at risk of:

  • Failing to provide an accessible workplace to potential Deaf employees.
  • Hefty compensation costs
  • Employee tribunals
  • Negative reviews on Local/National news sites, public forums and through social media
  • Negative reputation

What costs are involved per person?

This will depend on the amount of content, the length of the course and your specific requirements. 

Call Today to discuss the course to suit your business.

What is the course content?

Our courses cover the following topics (this list is not exhaustive and may vary according to service need):

Deaf Awareness strategies including:

  • Deaf Attention gain (Appropriate ways of gaining the attention of a Deaf Person)
  • Experiences of Lipreader's (Experiences of people who use lipreading to understand and communicate effectively when mouths are obscured)
  • How to conduct accessible online meetings
  • Working appropriately with interpreters
  • Assistive technology & equipment
  • Access to work scheme for deaf employees

BSL signs & phrases:

  • BSL Alphabet and role of fingerspelling
  • How to introduce yourself and welcome customers
  • How to repair a breakdown in communication
  • How to end a conversation appropriately
  • Discussing travel/transport
  • Directing people inside a building and out and about
  • Discussing the weather
  • Discussing family
  • Numbers (expressing the difference between money, age & calendar)

Deaf Culture:

We will delve into the interesting and engaging world of Deaf Culture and Deaf Arts.

What are the maximum participants at one workshop/course?

Delivering face to face courses/workshops will depend on the delivery space/capacity you have available. If we are teaching more than the British Sign Language (BSL) phrases, then a smaller group will mean attendees will have a more personalised experience with the trainer and the content.

An ideal number for a workshop/taster would be 16 – 20 participants.

For our longer courses, the ideal maximum number would be 10 – 14.

For remote learning, if it is a presentation/taster/seminar, then there is no limit to the numbers who will attend.

If we are delivering a 2-hour online taster then we would ask for no more than 10 – 12 participants per session. 

What will you learn?

You will learn a variety of topics; both theoretical and practical. We cover Deaf Awareness strategies, Deaf etiquette, British Sign Language basics as well as the main differences between hearing culture and Deaf culture.

Who are the courses designed for?

Our courses are for everyone; whether it be individuals, families, SME’s or larger corporate businesses - we can cater for you.

How long do your courses have to be?

It depends on your individual needs/staff availability and the aim of the training.

Our courses can be short tasters, half day or full day workshops or 5-week intensive courses or full length 10-week courses that can be arranged on a rolling programme basis.

Our courses can also be bespoke in nature and tailored to your requirements.

Includability Ambassador for 2022/23
Keeping Careers Real With Ali Podcast
Deaf Awareness Week 2022
Case Study
Deaf Awareness BSL Training for the Avon & Somerset Constabulary
Signature Accredited Deaf Awareness Training Courses For Businesses In the UK
Word Gets Around - Interview about Deaf Awareness Training

Study Sharpe - Clients

Sense UK logo
Weston Museum
Devon and Cornwall Police Force
North Somerset Citizens Advice
Weston College
Avon and Somerset Police
Somerset Care Logo
North Somerset
Livewest logo

Find out how we are helping companies like yours with Deaf Awareness training.

Drop us a line

Grisleys Farm, Cole Pole Ln, Stogursey,
Bridgwater TA5 1PY
+44 7746 060 547

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