Nuneaton based air cadets have been brushing up on their communications skills during a course designed to highlight the difficulties faced by people who are hearing-impaired.
The Deaf Awareness Training course, which was conducted by British Sign Language (BSL) Instructor Fay Bullingham was part of the Squadrons community service training programme.
During a series of exercises the cadets were placed in situations where they had to communicate with each other whilst they themselves were unable to hear. The tasks the cadets were given emulated every-day situations faced by deaf people.
It didn't take long for the cadets to start to appreciate the frustration of not being able to hear the instructions they were being given, especially when the person trying to communicate with them was facing in the opposite direction or covering their mouth. However as the course progressed and the importance of facing the person you are communicating with and speaking clearly became apparent and some elementary sign language was introduced, things started to get much easier for both those giving the instructions and those unable to hear.
Flt Lt Ian Crewe Officer Commanding 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron said. “This has been an excellent opportunity for us all to experience the every-day difficulties faced by the deaf. The most important thing any of us can take away from this training is the realisation of how important it is for us to face the people we are talking to. It's surprising how much even those of us who have the sense of hearing actually rely on being able to see a person's mouth to communicate effectively."
"Thanks to Fay Bullingham we are all more aware of the difficulties faced by the deaf and the simple techniques, if used correctly which can help to improve communications for all of us.”
The Air Cadets from 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron celebrating after Fay Bullingham (Centre of group) presented them with their Deaf Awareness Training Certificates. Some of the cadets just couldn't resist the temptation to demonstrate their new sign language skills by signing out their Squadron number, 121.