When I first started learning about how to do this, I was especially interested in the Great Interactions skills. I have a lot of friends who are deaf and I have learned to sign at college and I teach others how to use signs (my favourite sign is‘animals’!) and I wanted to learn more about other skills I could use.
My first visit was to Whiteladies Close in Worcester and I was made to feel very welcome. The first thing I noticed was how the support staff stood back and didn’t talk for people and when they needed to step in, they kept a low profile.
things- for example, one of the support workers, Tracy, was supporting Pat to make her lunch and every time Pat asked her a question or spoke to her, Tracy stopped, turned and faced her and paid attention- every single time. I liked
this- after the visit I talked about it with my support worker and I realised just how many skills Tracy was using-positioning herself, making great eye contact, listening, lots of warmth and humour, touching and speaking clearly.
Now I am going to do three things:
1. Think about my own interactions with my friends
2. Remind my support staff to think about their interactions, (although
they are pretty good staff and I have no complaints!)
3. Think about how I can use all of the skills I have learned when I
skype my friends – now, there’s a challenge!
Expert by Experience