Ian Winfield is passionate about helping people communicate more effectively with the Deaf community by inspiring learners from all backgrounds on his Deaf Awareness and British Sign Language (BSL) courses. A tutor with Dudley Adult and Community Learning for the past decade, Ian is always seeking new and innovative ways to improve his teaching methods by embracing technology and sharing ideas.
"I meet people who panic when faced with a Deaf person. This motivates me to teach Deaf awareness and sign language because I believe this is how we can make a more inclusive community in the UK."
Ian describes how he has recently launched a course for the Deaf community delivered in BSL on Basic ICT skills. "It allows Deaf people to learn a basic set of IT skills in their first language, from a Deaf teacher, helping them get online, develop employability skills and setting a positive role model around work opportunities for people who are Deaf. Over the last year, I’ve developed links with the Dudley Council Inclusion Group and delivered CPD to employees enabling a broader understanding of how Deaf Awareness is considered and used within the workplace. This has enabled the group to promote and use these skills to support them in their professional roles when advising the public."
"It’s important for me to keep developing my own skills too, so as part of my continuing professional development I have delivered training to my own colleagues to support their understanding and awareness. I have gained the highest language qualification for British Sign Language Level 6 and I have volunteered to work with a team of translators, translating English into BSL."
Tim Jarvis and Janet Lavelle, Ian’s line managers at Dudley Adult and Community Learning, said: "Ian inspires everyone he meets, with his insightful approach to sharing and promoting Deaf Awareness and in his passion for teaching and commitment, excellence, and professionalism. He sets the bar at its highest for others to follow, he is a true role model for the teaching community."
"The difference Ian has made to learners is immeasurable. He has helped countless learners to achieve their goals and reach their potential. Ian goes above and beyond for his learners, and he is always available to answer questions and provides encouragement to help his students succeed."
A learner on his course said: "Ian is fully supportive throughout the course. He takes time to get to know you, in order to adapt his delivery to suit our needs. He has a great sense of humour which comes through in every lesson."