Linlithgow opticians show signs of success for locals

Staff at the Linlithgow Specsavers store at the Regent Centre in Blackness Road on the sign language course at Glasgow Clyde College.
Staff at the Linlithgow Specsavers store at the Regent Centre in Blackness Road on the sign language course at Glasgow Clyde College.

Linlithgow opticians are learning sign language so they can communicate more effectively with hearing-impaired customers.

Staff at the Linlithgow Specsavers store at the Regent Centre in Blackness Road started the 13-week course at Glasgow Clyde College last month.

They are set to build their knowledge of the impact of living with a hearing defect while improving communication skills with customers who experience difficulties with their hearing or complete deafness in store.

They will receive full accreditation upon completion of the official Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) ‘Introduction to Sign Language’ course, along with colleagues from the Livingston and Gyle Centre stores.

Supported by Glasgow Clyde College and funded via the Scottish Apprenticeship Levy, the Specsavers volunteers expressed a keen interest in learning sign language as part of their day-to-day roles in store.

Store director at Specsavers Linlithgow, Diana Kelly, said: “They thoroughly enjoyed the first three-hour session, and were in awe of the instructor who is completely deaf and communicates only via sign language.

“It’s great to see them putting so many hours into learning this valuable skill that will help them to develop basic British Sign Language proficiency in everyday situations.”

Kyle Bettley, senior lecturer at Glasgow Clyde College, specialises in British Sign Language and is currently rolling out the course to Specsavers staff.

Kyle said: ‘I’ve been blown away with the enthusiasm of the Specsavers staff and how quickly they’re developing their signing skills. The course is a great opportunity to increase deaf awareness in partnership with a company that is pro-actively seeking to enable people living with hearing difficulties, and help them to have a positive experience in its stores.

“Working with the team has been an absolute pleasure and I look forward to watching them all graduate upon completion of the course.”