So, you’re sold that Health and Social Care is the path for you. That’s great and all, but where on earth do you start...
- Help deaf students in education
- Opportunities to use sign language skills in theatre, television, multimedia production & courts of law
- You'll need sensitivity and understanding, patience and the ability to remain calm
- Assessing the needs of learners
- Helping them communicate with others in class
- Supporting them by lipspeaking and notetaking
- Interpreting between spoken English and BSL
- Being creative in adapting learning materials to match learners’ interests
- Using a range of ways to help them understand what is required in class
- Helping them produce written work, supporting learners in talking about their learning needs with teachers
- Building relationships with learners, their families, and other professionals
- Thinking of ways for learners to become more independent
- Providing deaf-awareness training for other staff and students
- Supporting the school or college in improving the environment for hearing aids and lipreading
You could work at a school, at a college or at a university.
There are no set routes to becoming a communication support worker however, you can do a British Sign Language and deaf studies degree, although it's not essential.
You could also do a college qualification like a Level 3 Award In Signing and Receiving Skills in British Sign Language, Level 3 Certificate in British Sign Language Studies or Level 3 Certificate in Communication Support for Deaf Learners. You'll be expected to have a level 2 sign language qualification to get onto one of these courses. You can do further qualifications at higher levels once you start work.
You can do sign language training through organisations like Signature, which also offers a Certificate in Learning Support for Communication Support Workers.
You may be able to find a job as an assistant communication support worker and complete your qualifications while working.
Experience of working or volunteering with children with deafness or hearing loss will be useful.
You'll need to pass enhanced background checks for this role.
With experience, you could move into a management position within sensory impairment or disability services. With further training, you could progress to become a sign language interpreter, a disability adviser or a teacher of the deaf. There are some opportunities to use sign language skills in theatre, television, multimedia production and courts of law. Signers are sometimes booked to interpret in interviews.