Deaf Awareness Training at Swimming Teachers’ Association Conference

It was an early start on Saturday to drive to Stratford-upon-Avon for the STA National Conference – this was an event we were keen to be part of! STA is an international charity working towards the objective of preserving human life by the teaching of swimming, lifesaving and survival techniques. Over the two day event a record number of over 400 swimming teachers from all over the UK attended. The day started with an awards ceremony and an inspiring story from keynote speaker Andy Akinwolere. In 2011 Blue Peter presenter Andy set a World record swimming 5 miles across the Palau Trench, an 8,000-metre deep abyss in the Pacific Ocean. This was more remarkable because only 10 weeks previously he was unable to swim!

Kathleen taught a session on Deaf Awareness and communication. This incorporated BSL signs for vocabulary which swimming teachers can use within their classes. Swimming teachers are used to visual communication so this was a good match, which we hope will make them feel more comfortable when they have deaf students in their classes.

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