This blog has been posted in association with Signature, who are a supporter of this site.
It’s been nine months since I took on the role of executive director at Signature.
I am not deaf. I am incredibly passionate about the importance of the work Signature does. I have almost 10 years of experience at Signature and my aim is to continue building a stronger Signature alongside our wider team.
Signature isn’t me alone. Signature is our entire team of staff, teachers, assessors and consultants. I am proud of the work we do with deaf experts on a daily basis to enhance our qualifications and services, for the past 30 years and long into the future.
That might be making sure that our qualifications and products are making a difference to deaf communication, enabling beginners to learn the basics of BSL, supporting trainee interpreters, maintaining the high standards of our qualifications, developing new qualifications according to demand, or working with public and corporate organisations to improve their deaf awareness for employees, colleagues and customers. Together, all of us are working towards excellence in deaf communication.
Something really important to me is the importance of education and how we need to stick together if we want to have a bigger impact. We play a role as an awarding body, but for our work to be significant, we also rely on students to tell us what they want to learn and what skills they need, we need teachers to tell us what their challenges are. That’s why we decided to ‘go digital’ and host the Signature e-Conference, an online and more accessible alternative to a physical conference.
I’m extremely excited to hear what Peter Jackson, founder of iBSL and CEO of the British Deaf History Society, has to say at the conference. He’s our inspirational speaker, and as well as providing his fascinating opinions and knowledge of Deaf culture and education, he’ll be sharing his motivations behind founding iBSL, another awarding body for deaf communication qualifications, and I’m especially intrigued to see how his opinions compare to mine.
Mark Hopkinson from City Lit will be also speaking about how teachers are responsible for providing access and choices for learners, and apprentice Max Buxton will tell us about his journey in successfully campaigning for BSL to be recognised as alternative to English for apprentices.
We want to ignite a conversation. Although we will be sharing some updates, including our current work on the development of a GCSE in British Sign Language, it’s definitely not all about Signature.
More than anything, I’m looking forward to hearing different perspectives, answering your questions, and discussing a future where awarding bodies, teachers, students and parents are stronger together.
Tickets are now on sale for the Signature e-Conference which will be available online from Thursday 23rd – Sunday 26th March. For more information and to purchase your ticket, visit www.signature.org.uk/conference.
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