University of Edinburgh
 

Newsletter 23 Spring 2007

Contents

Editorial

Tumaini school for the deaf

We have news from two Scottish teachers of the deaf on their recent professional development. We are very grateful to both teachers for taking time to share their experiences. Mary Dowell (St Vincent’s School for the Deaf, Glasgow) describes her path to becoming a Chartered Teacher and Morag Stenhouse (East Dunbartonshire Sensory Service) tells of her overseas work with teachers and students at the School for the Deaf in Tanzania (see picture above). In addition to this, former mainstream pupil and BSL presenter, Frankie McLean has also been persuaded to update us on what he’s doing. On the technology front we have articles on SSC's new WebBoards and how to use them, and communication options available through Skype on the Internet.

As usual there are updates on SSC projects and involvement in other developments.  Currently, we have a Science BSL glossary, a Braille and Large Print database and the Socrates Lingua project for teaching languages to visually impaired people.  Further to the Spring 2006 issue, we include our first update on the work coming from the Curriculum Support Group: Early Years (VI).

I hope you all find something interesting or thought-provoking in this issue.  If you would like to share your own experiences, projects or bits of information please let us know.

Sheila Mackenzie
Newsletter Editor

'Signing Face' of SSC

Frankie McLean

Many of you will be familiar with Frankie McLean, he is the “signing face” of the SSC on our website and contributed to our Deaf Education conference last year, sharing his memories of attending a mainstream school and his educational experiences.  Frankie coped admirably on his own with a panel session where he held everyone’s attention at the end of a long conference. When Frankie was here at the end of 2006 filming the BSL summary for the new Deaf Students in Higher Education report we caught up with what he’s been doing recently and his plans.

“I’m an Information, Advice & Guidance Worker at Deaf Action working within the busy social work team. It is an interesting post with a wide-ranging variety of duties – some are inherent requirements of the post itself while others are either self-inflicted or have been specially requested due to my other professional interests (such as language (BSL), education and health). I enjoy the interaction with clients, colleagues, other professionals, etc; the absence of this was one of the major reasons that prompted a rethink of my career after gaining my degree in Immunology & Pharmacology.

I am currently preparing my portfolio for admission to a fast track social work degree course. I hope to be successful and gain a BA(Hons) degree in Social Work, which is replacing the old DipSW qualification. Study is by distance learning, which is a bonus for me as I can remain at Deaf Action throughout the course. Although society has changed for the good in many respects for deaf people, there are still challenges and I would hope to contribute towards addressing them.

My personal interests are also wide ranging. First and foremost, I love the beautiful game that is football! I enjoy watching games as well as playing and participating in the running of my club. Books are another vice, and I enjoy the occasional DVD/subtitled film. Going out to restaurants and socialising with friends is another favourite.”

We wish Frankie well with his plans although we selfishly hope he will not be so busy that he can’t continue to lend a hand with our BSL presentations in the future.

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Hello

I have recently joined the SSC as part-time Senior Secretary, which means in the mornings at least, I am likely to be the person who answers the phone or greets you when you visit.

My background is varied.  I spent five colourful years working for a major record company in London, which was great, but I couldn’t resist the lure of the countryside, and so moved to rural Suffolk.  My love of animals then led me to work as a nurse in a veterinary surgery, which was at times smelly but very rewarding!  Even more smelly than that was my next job in a sanctuary for  primates, where I cared for injured and abandoned lemurs, tamarins and monkeys.

After 12 years away, it was time to return home to lovely Scotland, and now I am very pleased to be part of the SSC, where I have been made to feel very welcome.  I will be assisting, Ruth, SSC’s administrator, with the organisation of the seminars and workshops, and would be happy to help with any queries you may have about our courses.

Stella Macpherson, Senior Secretary, SSC
Telephone: 0131 651 6501

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Resource Library Update

Often documents published on the web are simple PDF versions of printed materials or relatively short pieces of work.  A recent addition to our catalogue breaks this mould: Teaching children with sensory impairments: strategies for mainstream teachers, edited by Karen Waldron, Michael Steer and Dolly Bhargava.  It is a substantial piece of work involving many authors from the USA and Australia which aims to introduce mainstream teachers to the many issues involved in teaching children who are deaf or children who have visual impairments.  Chapter headings include: Inclusion; Definitions, Identification, and Professionals; Technological and Medical Interventions; Teaching Strategies and Accommodations; Activities; Social Skills; Counseling; Working with Families.

My only complaint about using this site would be that the actual content is in Word Document format which involves some messy switching between programs.  I would recommend that you use a browser which is set up to open the documents rather than just save them, eg: In Firefox: Preferences > Downloads, highlight DOC and click Change action, select your preferred word processor. See what you think for yourself by visiting:
http://www.trinity.edu/org/sensoryimpairments/index.htm

Perhaps our next issue could include a review of the content so feel free to feed back any comments on this publication. If anyone has found anything particularly useful on the internet, please let us know.
Sheila Mackenzie, Resource Library Manager,
Telephone: 0131 651 6069,
Email: sheila.mackenzie@education.ed.ac.uk

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Deaf Education in Tanzania

In the NDCS magazine (TALK, Jul/Aug 2004) I noticed an advert for teachers of deaf children to train Tanzanian teachers in a rural school for the deaf. It was a volunteering opportunity in a country I already had links with; in July 2006 Sue (another teacher of the deaf from Wales) and I arrived at Tumaini Special School for the Deaf in Singida, central Tanzania.

The school, a local initiative and the only government school for the deaf in the country, had 50 students, 6 teachers, 4 classes, 3 stages, ages 7 to 22 (Primary school progression being by attainment, not age). There was no electricity and no running water (water was obtained from a well) but a great atmosphere and lovely buildings (provided mostly by non-government organisations). The school exhibited lots of good practice in deaf education, including employing a deaf student teacher. Teachers and pupils were eager to learn and enthusiastic.  I understand that they would love to link with a school in Scotland.

All pupils signed (Chavita sign language) and there were no hearing aids worn (although we did discover some in a box during our visit!) One development need identified by the school is to develop beyond primary level onto secondary or perhaps some vocational training. One interesting observation we noted was that teachers visited homes on Fridays to check that what had been learned in school was being consolidated!

Singida is one of the poorest regions in the country. The lingua franca is Swahili - encouraged by the country’s first president, Julius Nyerere (who was a student at Edinburgh University in the 1950s/60s) whose policy of selecting people from different ethnic groups for influential positions has probably helped to keep the country free from the civil strife that has decimated many of its neighbours.

The teachers spoke English but we wondered how we would communicate with the pupils; in the event we managed fairly well as they were so motivated. One collaborative activity we had prepared was to work together on a wall hanging which served as a visual reminder of our visit. It was also great fun to work on and involved nearly everyone in the school. Another ‘innovation’ was an afternoon of educational games (such as wordsearch in Swahili!) - a great way to spend our last day in the school.

We gained an insight into other aspects of life in Tanzania by visiting teachers’ homes.  Meeting up with street boys and those who worked with them removed some prejudices. At one point we learned of the death (from malaria) of a few months-old baby we had got to know which was a stark reminder of the vulnerability of the young and not-so-young.

Our Tanzanian friends were generous in allowing us to take many photographs of life in and out of school. I have used these and my experiences since I came back as a basis for developing language work with individual pupils here in Scotland; to support the Modern Studies curriculum and to addressing a whole-school (primary) assembly on the theme of global education. I have discovered the material fits well with ‘A Curriculum for Excellence’.

I am also in touch with a senior lecturer in special education at Dar University in Tanzania who is writing a book for her students which will have one chapter on deaf education. If you would like to receive further information about my visit to Tanzania, please get in touch.

Morag Stenhouse, East Dunbartonshire Sensory Service,
Email: mstenhouse@lenzieacademy.e-dunbarton.sch.uk

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News: Skype

If you have broadband and a webcam you can hold conversations in sign language over the internet. Skype is free software which you can download at:
www.skype.com/download.

The quality of the picture depends on your webcam and the lighting.  Gary Quinn, Deaf BSL researcher at Heriot Watt University, recommends using a good quality webcam like the Philips SPC900NC because it gives a smooth picture with 90 frames per second.  You can also chat using text with Skype or transfer files so it is useful for discussing work issues or for having a tutorial at a distance.

You can search for other Skype users by using their email address or their Skype name.  The phone calls are free, even internationally.  This could be the basis of some international project work.
Rachel O’Neill, Lecturer in Deaf Education

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Socrates Lingua Project: Accessible Language Learning

socrates logo

It is an aim of the European Commission that all citizens of Europe can understand and speak at least three languages. Therefore, language competence is not only regarded as a key element to understanding among European people, but also as one of the key qualifications for job mobility and job promotion. Language learning is also important for social integration. It encourages individuals to come out of isolation and build up friendships via languages. Other benefits include development of personal skills, strengthening of self-confidence and access to culture and further education.

Unfortunately adequate language learning materials for blind and visually impaired people are hard to find. It is difficult to find and attend suitable language courses, especially if there are no appropriate training facilities locally available. Computer-based, interactive self-studying courses could be a solution. However, the format of these courses can pose extra difficulties to people with vision problems. 

The Socrates project 'Accessible Language Learning' has two aims:

Development of an innovative self-studying language course for blind learners
At the centre of the project is the development of a self-learning language course 'English for German learners' and 'German for English learners' which concentrates on communicative listening and speaking skills. The content and delivery of this course takes into account the challenges on the part of blind learners, especially those learners who have not mastered Braille.

Development of an innovative user interface
The project will create an alternative user interface for language learning software using a combination of Force-Feedback equipment and 3D-Sound navigation which works without Screenreader and creates real interactivity with the PC. This technology also allows learners without writing and reading skills to use the computer.

Project partners include a range of service providers in two other European countries involved in the education and training of children and adults who have a visual impairment, organisations specialising in language learning, and companies who can provide technological assistance plus the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh and the SSC.

As a project partner, we will continue to report on the progress of the project.
John Ravenscroft, Co-ordinator, SSC

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Braille and Large Print Database

The SSC has been asked by several teachers of VI to produce a Scottish-based online Braille and Large Print database.  You will be able to look up the database to check if a particular document has been converted to Braille or to a particular large print format by another Local Authority (LA). There is no point in reinventing the wheel so the idea is to contact the other LA about getting the electronic file from them (if possible) or even getting the Braille/Large Print document itself. This then allows a very easy and fast exchange of documents. 

Although Revealweb (http://www.revealweb.org.uk) offers a similar full and comprehensive service, many teachers of visually impaired children do not place the small worksheets and other materials they have developed in-house onto Revealweb. However these worksheets and other documents can be of great use to other teachers.

Linda Sorensen, Uddingston Grammar School, has contacted each LA to ask if they are willing to share this information across Scotland, and we are pleased to report that all LAs have agreed and the SSC has been asked to develop the much-needed database. We have already collected large databases from a few authorities and we are developing those into a single web database. However we need to add more data to it so that the database can develop and grow into a really useful resource for all Scottish teachers of visually impaired children. 

Appeal for materials
We are now issuing this appeal for any information you can share with us about the alternative format materials you hold in your schools and units. Do not worry about the format of the database or even if you just have a word document list we can do all the necessary editing. Please contact John Ravenscroft for more details about this project or you can send electronic files directly to Elizabeth Izatt (liz.izatt@ed.ac.uk).
John Ravenscroft, Co-ordinator, SSC

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Braille Competency Certificate, New Developments

In the last issue we explained that the Braille Competency course would be changing in 2007 and that we are now accredited by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).  See below for  the full range of costs associated with these courses.
New Course: Grade 1 Braille: Timescale: up to 3 months
Cost: £150 Full rate, UK applicants, £100 Parents, £200 Applicants outwith UK

Grade 2 Braille: Timescale: 18 months
Cost; £300 Full rate, UK Applicants, £175 Parents, £400 Applicants outwith UK
A Final Assessment Only option will be available for Grade 2 Braille. This will carry an SSC statement of competence only as the SQA cannot validate this method.
Morag Heeps, Course Tutor

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ToD + APL = CT?

Mary Dowell

Do you find the title of this article confusing? If so, it will give you some insight into how I felt this time last year when, as a Teacher of the Deaf (ToD), I embarked on my approach towards full Chartered Teacher (CT) status through Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) and the General Teaching Council (GTC) Accreditation Route.

In 2002, when the scheme proposed by the McCrone Report to keep 'good' teachers in the classroom was implemented, I was in the middle of my Post Graduate Diploma in Education Support (Deaf Education) at Moray House. The course became a catalyst for me in terms of reviewing my professional development and I began to relish the challenges of analytical debate concerning the wide range of issues in Deaf Education. The course spurred me on to consider developing my studies through a Master of Science. However, all these ‘lofty’ notions had to be tempered by the realities of a full-time job, family commitments, ageing parents and the diminishing energy of middle-age!

Determined to exploit my renewed interest in learning, I applied to take part in an international educational exchange programme, Developing Effective International Education Practice (DEIEP), to Ontario, Canada during the Easter school holidays of 2005. On my return, after a twilight in-service at Moray House, I was asked to consider joining the SSC team to help organise their Continuing Professional Development programme for Scottish Teachers of the Deaf. I joined the Scottish Sensory Centre in August 2005 and will continue working with them until my secondment ends in June 2007.

Now, why am I boring you with the details of my recent history? It’s because all of this experience, along with a fair amount of success in the classroom, added up to a profile that was suitable to fulfil the GTC Chartered Teacher Accreditation criteria and it’s very probable that you have similar experience to exploit. 

In August 2003 I had decided to do the Chartered Teacher core module in Professional Development at Strathclyde University. I thought it might be an interesting week and something worthwhile to pursue at a later date. I also thought that by completing this module (Module 1 is compulsory for all the Chartered Teacher routes) I was giving myself options for the future. Life continued to be hectic after that summer with school, BSL courses, essays for my PG Diploma and I genuinely didn’t think I could cope with another project - I might just implode with stress! However, I had financed the first CT Module and I didn’t want to waste the money! I was also very aware of the value of the currency of my learning; the GTC Accreditation Route for CT explicitly calls for relevant experience and learning of the past 5 years. I studied the Accreditation criteria and concluded that I stood a good chance of fulfilling the demands for full registration.

This leads me back to January 2006 and my confusion. I have to be honest, nothing prepared me for the panic I felt on receiving the GTC information for Accreditation; it seemed to be full of jargon and repetition. I studied and internalised the application format and CT standards and placed a copy in every place I could think of. Whenever I got a chance to sit down and relax I would read and re-read the information so that finally I became completely familiar with the requirements.

On the first Sunday in January 2006 I had my first meeting with the tutor provided by the GTC (three hours of one-to-one guidance is included in the 'package'). My tutor was a lovely person, very down to earth and realistic about the demands on my time. I asked if she thought I had enough experience to apply for full CT Accreditation, she re-assured me that she thought I had. That was my first hurdle surmounted. It’s worth pointing out that most ToDs will have the same type of experience as me, including such areas as: PG Diploma, BSL lessons, a variety of in-service courses and experience in adapting material to suit deaf pupils.

My tutor advised me to isolate three or four key/critical incidents that I felt had had a positive impact on my teaching and, consequently, my pupils' learning. I was reminded that it is the positive impact of CPD on teaching that is the core of the McCrone rationale for the Chartered Teacher role. I quickly decided that my key incidents would be:
1. PG Diploma in Education Support (Deaf Education)
2. Secondment to the SSC
3. DEIEP exchange

The GTC Accreditation Route is divided into two main areas – a Reflective Report of approximately 10,000 words and a ‘Portfolio’ Commentary of about 6,000 words. The Reflective Report describes changes in practice as a result of learning from the critical incidents. Each critical incident, in turn, is described in detail and reflected upon in the context of wider educational issues and its ensuing impact on the learning of pupils. The report concludes with a report on plans for future developments in professional actions so that the exercise considers not simply a history but an on-going process of professional development, in terms of life-long learning. 

The Portfolio is a collection of practical evidence to support a claim of enhanced teaching practice, including the physical documents, supporting these claims.  The Portfolio also contains three Summary grids (Post Graduate Studies, CPD Activities and Evidence) that cross-reference the elements of relevant experience and enhanced practice with the Chartered Teacher Standards. Never having been described as a logical thinker, I found the concepts required by the Reports and Portfolio Grids difficult to grasp but I eventually rationalised what I had to do and actually came to 'enjoy' reflecting on my achievement of the past five years.

mary group photo

photograph of 15 year old pupil, Jason, a finalist in the Young Sports Journalist of the Year Competition 2006, and two teachers

The final hurdle, was a visit from a GTC representative. This included an interview that examined the specifics of my application. The questioning was fairly detailed and thought-provoking. I surmised that this was the way the GTC could check that my claims were honest and justified. The required written submissions took a huge amount of effort and I felt as if I’d given birth after finishing my Reflective Report. I spent my birthday weekend writing up my Portfolio and it took a significant amount of time to collect evidence, such as: students’ work, adapted resources, letters of authenticity for each key incident, letters of affirmation from pupils, parents, colleagues and certificates of awards won by my pupils. The whole process was also far more time-consuming than I had originally anticipated; evenings, weekends and holidays were sacrificed for six months but the whole process proved to be actually very cathartic and made me feel excited about continuing my journey of personal development.

I was awarded Chartered Teacher status on 1st July 2006. My certificate arrived in late June and such was my eldest son’s faith in me, I arrived home to find a large brown envelope (my certificate) and a celebration cake with MUM written in candles  I was thrilled with both! And has the title Chartered Teacher made any difference to me? Of course there is a financial reward, which is significant, particularly for the older teacher (like me) who will be thinking of a pension in the next decade. But what about the intention of McCrone to reward good teachers? I wouldn’t flatter myself to think I’m a better teacher than any of my colleagues, we all work hard, but I have been fortunate to take advantage of opportunities that have presented themselves to me. I also appreciate that I took time to focus and work my way over all of the hurdles necessary to achieve full Accreditation. Being a Chartered Teacher, for me, means having a responsibility to maintain the high standard set out by McCrone for the Chartered Teacher and to continue my CPD for my entire career. Through this, I hope to become a better Teacher of the Deaf. 

Why am I writing this diatribe? Because every Teacher of the Deaf I know has an experience profile similar to mine. You have until 2008 to apply for Accreditation through the GTC. The scheme will be reviewed at that time and who knows what might happen in the future? Scottish Teachers of the Deaf are not rewarded or recognised in any official way for all of their extra commitment in terms of their specialism. The CT can be a valuable affirmation for the extra effort we all make. I feel it’s worth it. As I've said it's a bit like childbirth, very painful at the time but once finished, you forget the pain and feel elated.  I will continue my own CPD later this year when I resume my MSc studies. This will mean more weekends, more holidays sacrificed . . . oh well, another baby!

Some Practical Facts (at the time of writing):
There are 387 Chartered Teachers in Scotland, 318 achieved the Chartered Teacher status through the GTC Accreditation Route.
The cost of the compulsory core module (Professional Development) ranges from £500 to £800, depending on the provider.
You are allowed to claim for up to six modules for Accreditation of Prior Learning in the Modular Route to CT, twelve modules are required for full CT Accreditation.
The increase in salary for a Chartered Teacher is approximately £7,000 per annum.
For more information about the GTC Accreditation Route or for a list of other providers you can contact the GTC at
www.gtcs.org.uk
GOOD LUCK!
Mary Dowell, Chartered Teacher, St Vincent’s School, Glasgow and SSC

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CPD Secondment to SSC

The Scottish Sensory Centre (SSC) organises continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers and other staff who work with deaf pupils across Scotland.

We seek an enthusiastic qualified teacher of the deaf with current experience in the field and excellent interpersonal skills to provide organisational support for the SSC Deaf Education CPD programme. The post is available one day a week for two years from early August 2007*; you will be seconded from your Local Authority.

You will play an active role in the team, managing the organisation of the Deaf Education CPD programme, organising events at various venues and actively participating in team meetings. Your excellent organisational skills will be invaluable in planning, arranging and evaluating conferences and training events.

You will have good IT skills with sound knowledge of Microsoft Word and the ability to use email. Possessing a positive and friendly outlook, you are able to use your own initiative and work well with people both inside the SSC and in the Deaf Education field.

General information about the SSC can be found at www.ssc.education.ed.ac.uk.

For further details and an application form please email Ruth Simpson:
Ruth.Simpson@ed.ac.uk

[*Our current grant expires in March 2008 but we are hopeful that we will be successful in obtaining further funding.]

News: Science Signs Project

The SSC  has been awarded a grant from the Scottish Executive  Education Department to produce a glossary of BSL science signs during 2007.  Following a pilot project about Maths signs with explanations, the SSC wanted to produce a glossary of science signs with clear explanations in BSL for deaf school pupils and teachers.

The steering group will meet throughout the year to direct the project; it includes teachers of deaf children, experts in science and linguistics, deaf pupils and Deaf science teachers. We are aiming to produce up to 250 science signs with explanations.  The project hopes to provide access to the glossary through BSL handshape as well as the more usual English alphabetical order. The day to day work for the project will be carried out by a group of Deaf science teachers including Gerry Hughes and Audrey Cameron.  Linguistic monitoring of the project is being provided by researchers from Heriot Watt University.  The project will set up a bulletin board on the SSC website so that teachers and deaf pupils can check on the progress and provide feedback to the team about which explanations are clearest.  More news about the deafEd messageboard will be in the next issue.
Rachel O’Neill, Lecturer in Deaf Education

Curriculum Support Group: Early Years

Last spring we announced the launch of a new service from the SSC to facilitate meetings of groups to support curriculum areas and other topics of interest to teachers of visually impaired children and teachers of deaf children.  One group which has been established is the Early Years (VI) group.

It is widely acknowledged that the very early years of a child’s life are crucial.  The Scottish Executive’s document Birth to three: supporting our youngest children, recognises this and provides valuable guidance for those who care for very young children.

Children who have a visual impairment may develop skills in ways that differ to sighted children.  It is essential that those who are responsible for supporting them, and their families, have a critical understanding of their needs and the appropriate competences required to provide opportunities, which will encourage the children to develop in all aspects of their lives.

There are many people across Scotland who are currently working with young visually impaired children including those children who have additional difficulties. The curriculum support group hopes to share this expertise and promote collaboration between parents, professionals and the voluntary sectors.

A core group of VI teachers has now established  and will continue to meet regularly. However, the views of all practitioners are vital and contributions of ideas, gaps in provision, equipment, etc, will be very welcome. We recognise that there are many individuals and organisations with specific areas of expertise and who can provide examples of 'good practice'. Therefore we may be contacting individuals directly, to ask them if they would be willing to contribute to this work. I would like to say a huge 'Thank you!' to the core team and everyone who has expressed an interest in the Early Years group. Minutes of the meetings will continue to be sent to those who have not been able to attend the meetings held to date. The next meeting is in March.

If you have any comments or contributions that you would like to be considered, contact:
Janis Sugden, Teacher of Visually Impaired Children,
Email: Janis.Sugden@ed.ac.uk

Assessment Materials Bank

The Resource Library is starting a collection of assessment materials which can be borrowed by teachers or services to give services the opportunity to borrow a wider range of linguistic monitoring and assessment tools to  "try before you buy". As part of the library collection,  items will be available in the usual way to members.  We already have the following assessment materials:
0–5 Early Support Monitoring Protocol by DfES (includes English and BSL development)
BSL receptive skills test
Crystal’s LARSP analysis (Language Assessment, Remediation and Screening Procedure)
STASS (South Tyneside Assessment of Syntactic Structures)
Webster’s Profiles (“Profiles of the hearing impaired” and “Profiles of the language-impaired”)

Below are the assessment materials we are considering buying at the moment:
Tait video analysis
Macarthur Communicative Development Inventory
British Picture Vocabulary Scales
Reynell Communicative Language Scales III (this test can only be used by people who have received training in it, so we would plan to run this as an SSC course)
TROG 2 (Test for Reception of Grammar).
If you have further assessments you would like to see in the SSC, please get in touch.

Training to use language assessments: During 2007-08 we hope to run the training in how to use the BSL productive skills assessment, taught by Ros Herman, City University London (the course  includes a copy of the productive skills test). Applicants will need to have a minimum of BSL CACDP Level 2; Deaf BSL tutors are particularly welcome. We are also planning training in STASS, which is a screening assessment using a grammatical analysis of English based on David Crystal’s LARSP procedure, but quicker.  We hope the Ear Foundation may be able to provide SSC with courses in PALS (Profile of Actual Linguistic Skills) and PASS (Profile of Actual Speech Skills), which are two spoken language development assessments. The Moray House postgraduate programme now includes STASS as part of the Language, Literacy and Communication course.
Rachel O’Neill, Lecturer in Deaf Education,
Email: rachel.oneill@ed.ac.uk

Get your name in print (in a good way!)

John Ravenscroft is now the book review editor for the British Journal of Visual Impairment. He is looking for VI professionals who would be interested in reviewing new books about visual impairment. These reviews would be around 500 words each and, if accepted by Sage, will be published in the journal under the reviewer's name. At the moment there are three books available to review:

Special stories for disability awareness: stories and activities for teachers, parents and professionals by Taryn Shrigley-Wightman (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
Aging and vision loss: a handbook for families by Alberta Orr and Priscilla Rogers (AFB)
Sir Harold Ridley and his fight for sight: he changed the world so that we may better see it by David Apple

If you are interested in reviewing any of these books (and you get to keep them) or to express interest in future publications in a particular subject area, please get in touch.

WebBoards Service: deafEd or SAVIE

login page

Once you have registered for either the deafED or SAVIE messageboards, go to this link:
http://www.webboard.ed.ac.uk

Enter the name of the board in the Board name space, then type in your username and password.

Tip: You can return to the home page for the messageboard at any time by clicking on the board name directly underneath the WebBoard logo.

Finding new messages:
A light bulb icon appears in the list of conferences on the main page if there are new messages posted. A message is regarded as being New until you tell the system otherwise. This is not on an individual message basis rather when you have read all the messages you must proceed to the Options link. Click on the Options link at the top of the page and select the Mark Conferences Read link.  Mark all conferences read option is provided to reset all messages for all conferences. Click on the Save button to update the selected conference.

Replying to a message:
Below each message you will find a Reply link which you can use to send a message in response a reply subject heading will be created automatically.

Creating a topic:
A new topic can be started by selecting the conference most relevant to the nature of your topic and then clicking on one of the New Topic buttons provided at the top and bottom of the table of topics. You will need to enter a subject heading.

Editing or deleting a message you have posted:
You may edit or delete your own messages. An Edit button only appears below messages posted by you; click on this button to change the message. Likewise for the Delete button: it only appears below messages which has been posted by you; click on this button to delete the message.

You can request WebBoard to watch a message thread for you. When a new message is posted to the topic you are watching, WebBoard sends you an email.  To start watching a topic, check the Watch this Topic box at the end of a message. To stop watching a topic tick the Stop Watching this Topic option at the end of the topic, or alternatively you may edit their status in your My Watched Topics section of Options.

Logging off:
When you are finished with your WebBoard session click on the Logoff button in the menu bar.

Click on the Help button in the WebBoard toolbar for more information on how to use the board.