DDCS Sign Language Grant
by Sue Bennett
My name is Sue and I am a mum of five. I have three grown up children and two still at home.
My youngest son Tyler at birth experienced difficulties in feeding and at 2 days old we found out why - a cleft palate. The cleft team informed us it may result in glue ear.
Roll forward to 3 weeks of age and further tests, the diagnosis wasn't glue ear but he was deaf.
At that young age audiology weren't sure to what level. A lovely man (Tony Corcoran) spent many an hour at our home, trying to establish Tyler's level of deafness. The same man put Tyler's case forward for a cochlear implant but all the tests for a cochlear implant revealed that he was too complex a case and our hopes were dashed.
It was at this point we realised we'd need to learn to sign. Initially we used sign-along and as time progressed we transitioned to BSL. Last year I did my level 1 BSL course and exam with Wiltshire & Dorset Deaf Association (WDDA). The cost was very high, around £450 so I approached Shirley at DDCS for help. Shirley was, as always, a fantastic support.
The DDCS gave me a grant towards the course, without which I would have struggled to pay the fee. So thank you DDCS!
I'm now learning level 2 BSL. Tyler's signing continues to improve as does mine! Tyler's now 13, a mostly happy boy with a wicked sense of humour. BSL is invaluable to us as Tyler is totally reliant on sign to communicate. So once again thank you DDCS!