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 Saturday, 27 July, 2002, 07:43 GMT 08:43 UK
IT skills for deaf people
Pupils are awarded their certificates
The scheme has been created by the RNID
More than 100,000 deaf and hard of hearing people throughout north Wales could benefit from a new IT project.

The scheme called 'Together IT works' was created by the Royal National Institute for Deaf People(RNID) and Barclays Bank to boost employment prospects.

I was previously unable to learn any IT skills because I couldn't understand what was going on

Emma Poole

Students will be supported in the classroom by sign language interpreters, speech-to-text operators and lip speakers.

The flagship programme has been unveiled in Wrexham by six students who have all finished a basic IT course at Caia Park Partnership.

Nineteen per cent of deaf and hard of hearing people are unemployed, compared to five per cent of the general population in Wales.

The RNID found that many people they see have difficulties learning computer skills including the internet and desk top publishing.

The programmes do not meet their individual communication needs and makes it difficult for them to obtain jobs using computers.

Computer generic
Deaf people will be taught IT skills

Emma Poole has taken part in the project.

She was born with profound deafness and is one of 4,000 people in Wales whose first language is British sign language.

She said: "I was previously unable to learn any IT skills because I couldn't understand what was going on.

"It was really frustrating not being able to get the skills I wanted and knew I would be good at."

Communicate

Emma, who now wants to gain employment in administration added: "RNID and 'together IT works' has given me the chance to show I can achieve more than people thought."

James Strachan from the RNID said the new course is an excellent opportunity for people with hearing difficulties.

"Deaf people want the opportunity to gain IT skills and for their skills to be recognised.

"New text-based technologies such as e-mail have created enormous potential, enabling deaf and hard of hearing people to communicate more easily."

Mr Strachan added: "It's time to realise this potential."


More from north east Wales
See also:

02 Mar 02 | Science/Nature
06 Feb 02 | Scotland
08 Feb 02 | Science/Nature
18 Oct 01 | Health
12 Sep 00 | N Ireland
12 Apr 00 | Education
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