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I want to offer English tuition to deaf people (Sally’s response)

Deafauntie is expanding! We have been inundated with problems ever since we began this blog, so have decided to form a ‘floating panel’ of experts in a variety of specialist areas who can answer your questions. 
To kick off, we asked Sally Reynolds to give her own advice to last week’s problem. This is what she came back with. 

I want to offer English tuition to deaf adults, but am finding promoting my work difficult. I am currently employed in a school as a Teaching Assistant (Sign Support). I have BSL Level 2, a certificate in TEFL, and I’m studying for NVQ BSL Level 3.
Since I started signing, I have developed an interest in combining English teaching and BSL. How can I get hold of the right people to offer my services to?

Celia, Surrey

Deafauntie Sally says:
It is fantastic that more and more Deaf people are offering their services outside traditional educational settings.  Deaf adults are increasingly needing support in employment, more than ever – especially in a competitive job market, where jobs are scarce, and redundancies are common.  Deaf students need to be on a level playing field with their peers.  The difference in using a freelance person like yourself, in the form of proofreading or providing 1:1 tutorials, means that they gain some autonomy over their work.  They are directly working with a deaf professional, who offers a specialised service; someone who understands their needs better.
It is really important to be able to explain what you can offer, and to do this with clarity!  Explore social media, and what others are doing.  Think about having a website, and attend networking events.  Use plain English when you market yourself.  The language you use will reflect on the service that you can offer – it is your shop window!
Be realistic in your communications about what you can deliver in your one to one tuition.  Tailor the sessions according to the client’s needs and explain what is achievable with their workload.  They will probably need to start with the basics, understanding how to structure their everyday correspondence, essays or reports better.  Encourage them to expand their vocabulary, and to use a spell checker.  They will need to understand English Grammar rules, and how they work.  Perhaps they need to work on how they can word things differently to communicate their message across better.  Plain English is always best!

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