I am planning to launch a new Deaf Awareness company very soon but wanted to check in with you. I want to work with customer-facing businesses, such as very large stores on the high street, delivering deaf awareness workshops and introducing them to BSL, appropriate to their sector. I also want to start some support groups for different activities in BSL. Is there anything I need to be thinking about before I start?
I probably receive a request like this at least once a week (see earlier problem asking for advice on Deaf Awareness DVDs and their useful answers).
I see from your longer email that you are hearing and therefore my answer has to be “Whoa, let’s start again!” I cannot condone any hearing person offering Deaf Awareness to companies however much they think they know (again you have told me you have lifelong family experience of deafness). It may just about be OK if you worked alongside a Deaf trainer but the best way for a win-win situation is that you both start out as equal partners.
Not only will it be more authentic but you will be genuinely practising what you preach. I think the extra classes or support groups might be a winner for you as there is very little going on for hearing people who want to expand their BSL contacts in a professional setting.