We are Delighted to Welcome Deaf Access Services (DAS) to The Tangent

Chesterfield based business Deaf Access Service (DAS)has recently relocated to The Tangent, moving into facing first floor offices 23 and 34.

DAS was set up in September 2003 by Ricki Westbury, who himself was born profoundly Deaf and uses British Sign Language as his first language.

His love of his own language; BSL, which is very different to English in its vocabulary, grammatical structure and syntax, led him to start teaching it to hearing people so that they could communicate with Deaf BSL users in their everyday life.  He employs Deaf people to assist with teaching as he maintains that it is crucial that students learn from native users.

Ricki says ‘It is not an easy language to learn as hearing people are used to listening and speaking, so having to receive all information from a visual language can be quite daunting at first’. However he teaches in a relaxed and enjoyable way and his students, of which he now has many at various levels of proficiency, enjoy learning the language immensely and often stay with DAS to go on to learn at higher levels.

There are currently four levels of BSL, from basic to Level 6 (which is degree level). Find out more about the BSL qualifications on the The Awarding Body; Signature’s website.

Having achieved the language students can continue with DAS and train to become a BSL/English Interpreter. This means that they would interpret for Deaf people in the workplace, at medical appointments or in the many other domains where Deaf people find themselves needing to interact with hearing people.

DAS runs a BSL/English interpreting service and currently provides interpreters on a daily basis to hospitals, police, courts, employers, local authorities, education and much more.  It employs interpreters from all over the East Midlands and surrounding counties to fulfil its’ interpreting assignments.

Ricki says ‘DAS moved to the Tangent from it’s base in Chesterfield as the facilities are excellent for out needs. Students are very happy here at the Tangent as it provides a really good environment in which to learn. Our offices are excellent too and provide a base where we are able to run our interpreting services and all the ‘behind the scenes’ work for our training.’

Find out more about DAS.