Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Using your hands to talk

I've mentioned how thin money is on the ground at school for things like training, especially for teaching assistants, who are so undervalued. There is currently a scholarship for teaching assistants at a certain grade. It allows them to claim half of any tuition fees, (up to £2000 towards the cost of a course) which will add to their CPD (Continued Professional Development). So even though I am now officially on my Grade 2 brailling course (it hasn't begun yet), I am going to apply, as one of my other interests is sign language. It is a beautiful language to watch. It can be as varied as the many accents one might hear in the course of a day spent in a big city. It can be done well or badly. And it can change lives and make the difference between isolation and inclusion. Getting the scholarship will be a matter of timing, skill, popularity and luck. It's going to be extremely competitive. One TA wanted me to keep my mouth shut about it to increase our chances. But I have experience of the kind of seething resentment that sort of secrecy can cause, and I'm spreading the word. We can all compete for it together. It's quite likely none of us will be chosen. But who knows, perhaps someone will be lucky!

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