Emergency Workers Get Ahead With Sign Language Course

Megan Berry and Liz Udall

By Sandish Shoker, Coventry Telegraph

Sep 14 2012

Warwicks, England — A Nuneaton police support officer and midwife are leading the pack for raising awareness of sign language in their professions.

Liz Udall and Megan Berry have both completed level two of a sign course at the Need BSL centre, in Burbage, near Hinckley.

Liz, aged 32, from Nuneaton, who works as a PCSO for Warwickshire Police, said her job had made her aware of how vital good communication was with every section of the community.

She explained: “When I started this job I realised that having sign and communicating with people was important.

“In an emergency it is vital BSL users can communicate quickly and effectively and I think people are really pleased someone in the police force is willing to learn sign to help them.”

It is a view shared by her classmate Megan, a midwife at George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.

Megan, aged 22, also from Nuneaton, had been interested in learning to sign to help her communicate with mums-to-be who need it.

She was enrolled on the course as a 21st birthday present with a difference from her boyfriend.

She said: “I don’t know of anyone else in the hospital who can sign, but for deaf women effective communication will greatly improve the care they receive.

“It is about helping those people and raising awareness and showing medical staff how they can communicate with their patients.”

Michael Broderick, who was their Need BSL tutor, said he hoped more professionals might consider following the example set by Liz and Megan.

He said: “It is really encouraging to have people from their profession taking an interest in sign and deaf awareness. Hopefully it is a start for other emergency workers to follow and hopefully will encourage more people from the deaf community to use the police and hospital services.”

Source: Coventry Telegraph

http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/north-warwickshire-news/2012/09/14/emergency-workers-get-ahead-with-sign-language-course-92746-31830838/

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