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Conceptualising IT for the profoundly deaf

From: HR Gateway, UK - Jul 12, 2004

Author :
HR Gateway Editorial

Brief Details
For many people in the Deaf Community, IT training was off limits because there were no BSL signs to convey the concepts of IT, something a basic approach to e-HR has helped solve.

Many people in the profoundly deaf community eye further and higher education with suspicion following a lifetime of not being engaged, it is claimed, something organisations can help with through something as simple as a DVD.

Alan McClure, manager of employment services for the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) explains that many people have British Sign Language (BSL) as a first language and this has led to their alienation from IT training.

Even though 90% of jobs require IT training, there were until recently no widely used BSL signs for IT concepts such as mouse and cursor. This was changed thanks to a DVD of 100 signs which has opened up IT training once more:

What the DVD does it is offer a range of signs that up until now have not been commonly used. The signs are concepts, such as mouse based on the European Computer Driving License (ECDL) qualification.

For many areas of IT we found that there were no signs available. So, when the interpreter wanted to translate what was being delivered by a tutor into BSL, there wasnt one. The DVD doesnt remove the need for a tutor or translator but it makes IT training accessible for deaf people, he said.

McClure was taking to HRG for its e-book of interviews on e-HR which is officially released today. It looks at six diverse approaches to e-HR and the interviews cover the retelling of experiences as well as the offering of advice for organisations looking to dabble in certain areas of e-HR.

As with all our e-books they are free to download. Our Interviews on e-HR publication can be downloaded along with our other e-books by clicking here:

As always we would like to hear your feedback. If you would like to reply to - or find out more about any of the interviews in this book simply email the news desk at

The full list of interviewees are:
Shelagh Everett director of strategy and business projects: Co-operative Bank
John McElwee head of graduate recruitment: Marks & Spencer
Vance Kearney European vice-president for HR: Oracle
Alan McClure employment services manager: Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID)
Simon Hogan senior recruitment manager: Logica CMG Simon Pugh managing director: Brite HR

Copyright HR Gateway Ltd 2002



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