In February, 11 of the iHASCO Production & Development Department undertook training with Russell Cooke from the Royal Association for Deaf people. This training opportunity gave us a real insight into the experiences and barriers that deaf people face in their lives.
Here’s what some of those who took the course had to say…
I found the course to be very insightful and answered a lot of questions I had about how accessibility measures both meet and miss the mark for Deaf people. I’m really interested in making our content as accessible as possible, from the website through to course content, and without people like Russell, the best we can do is mostly based on assumption and guesswork. The training has given me a newfound understanding of what it means to be deaf, as well as an eagerness to become more proficient in BSL.
As a generally curious person with a head full of questions, this course was absolutely amazing. It was led by a fantastic trainer who created a safe space for any and all discussions and questions, no matter how silly they may seem. I really felt like I got an insight, not just into the issues faced by the deaf community, but also the joys, successes, and the every day humdrum experiences we all face. For a truly well-rounded view of the lives of people we're all aware of but sadly too often overlook, I could not recommend a better course.
The course was highly engaging and highlighted areas we haven’t been consciously thinking about - until now! What surprised me most is just how many people in the UK are deaf/hard of hearing (1 in 6!).
Our next steps include looking into the possibility of making options for some of our most popular courses to be accessible with a British Sign Language translation. And reflecting back, some of the retro voice effects I stitched in for some scenarios in “Slips, Trips and Falls” (https://youtu.be/jsNp_z8XhMI) seemed like a silly idea now, whoops - that’s on the agenda to fix when back in the office! (Seek Constant Improvement).
This course was really interesting, Russell was incredibly informative and made us feel comfortable asking as many questions as we liked during the training, providing extensive first-hand insight into his own and other Deaf people's lives. One of our core values here at iHASCO is to Seek Constant Improvement, so we were very excited at the opportunity to learn more about how Deaf people experience the world, and how we can be more mindful when writing courses, producing webpages and addressing accessibility concerns. Another one of our values is to Make a Genuine Difference, which this session will now help us to do, with our course content and training delivery systems.
If you too would like to take Deaf Awareness Training, The Royal Association for Deaf people has made their course available online, with training offered virtually.