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Friday, 29 August 2014

BSL Professionals love our ‘Employment’ Webinar!

If you are one of terptree’s Communication Professionals, you’ll know how we love to take care of you! Last night, we ran our first of a series of webinars to provide BSL Professionals with the toolkit necessary for many workplace domains. Last night was ‘Employment’, and the feedback we received was excellent!

Uhh, what is a Webinar ? (Yes I heard you)

A webinar is a web-based seminar. It can be a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar and it is transmitted over the web.  This means you can watch it anywhere, as long as you have a computer with internet access… and of course a link to access it!

Terptree are one of the first companies to run these for Communication Professionals, and we’ve done this based on feedback from a recent survey which showed that you’d prefer to learn at home than travel to a location that could be hours away!

Our webinar series, entitled Wednesday Webinars (last night being an exception!) gives Interpreters, lipspeakers, Speech-to-text reporters and  Notetakers some great info on what to expect and how to work effectively in these settings. Have a look our full list of webinars here.

Our Webinar subject last night was the domain of 'Employment', run by Wendy Ledeux and here is some of the feedback: 

"Very useful thank you"

"Lovely presentation, very clear thank you Wendy :-)"

"Thanks for this Webinar, first time for me and thought it to be a very good experience"

"Thanks Victoria and Wendy.  I have enjoyed my first Webinar and look forward to attending some more"

Victoria Williams, Director of terptree and RSLI said that there were many things that she would take away from the Webinar presented by Wendy (pictured above).

"Thank you for your excellent Webinar Wendy, your suggestions of rick lists for new clients along with the idea of selling the benefits of prep to the Deaf person so that they can see how it will benefit them throughout the interaction was great!  Also a great insight into what can be achieved through using backchannelling."

If you want to view a recording of the Webinar - we can send you it! Just get in touch with us at or call us on 01635 886264.

Additionally If you want to sign up to one or all of our Communication Professional Webinars, please check out the full list of domains and dates here!

You won’t be disappointed in what you will learn! :)

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Communication Professional of the month July 2014 - Kay White!

Communication Professional of the month 
July 2014

Kay White

 Kay White photo

Another month on and another amazing Communication Professional!

Very well done to Kay for winning Communication Professional of the month July 2014!

Kay is a Registered Sign Language Interpreter and has been chosen this month because she is an Interpreter who has only recently started worked with us, but has consistently received great feedback from a whole range of bookings undertaken.  We felt that this was excellent and made a real impression on our team.

We feel that Kay is a real role model for others who are about to start working for terptree, so well done Kay!

This is what Kay had to say "Thanks very much for choosing me for July's Communication Professional of the Month! It's a real honour and means a lot to me.  It's the most exciting parcel I've had for ages plus I've never won a trophy before!
Many thanks again, and thanks also for the lovely words in the card :)"

So we now have our seventh Communication Professional of the month and maybe August 2014 it will be YOU!     

Monday, 14 July 2014

The Facebook craze that has swept the online Deaf community!

If you are Deaf or have Deaf friends and/or relatives, you will have noticed that a craze has swept the Deaf community on Facebook. If talk of this “craze” is news to you, you’ve come to the right place to find out what it is!

So what is the craze in a nutshell?

The craze is called ‘Nomination Drenching’! Deaf people are posting videos to Facebook tipping buckets of cold water over themselves. 

Usually the video depicts the person (normally in this order)
a) thanking [sarcastically?] the person who nominated them 
b) mentioning the charity/group who they are drenching themselves for 
c) nominating a deaf friend or friends to drench themselves within a certain time frame (i.e. 24 hours) and finally...
d) The self-drenching commences!

So how did this craze start?

It began in New Zealand last week and became extremely popular. However as soon as it hit our shores, the deaf community adopted it and owned it for themselves.  You will now see members of many community sites, i.e. The Tree House, posting self-inflicted drenching videos on their Facebook page.

Even terptree’s director, Victoria Williams and her husband have gotten in on the action. You can see her clip below.

So should you embrace it?

Whether you think it’s daft, trivial, mocking or condescending, it’s fun! And is definitely raising awareness.

As the ‘no make-up selfies’ proved, we all enjoy seeing something that a) is borderline controversial and b) raises awareness of a cause or charity. And this ‘Nomination Drenching’ craze is an terrific way of getting attention, as long as it people do not go over the top.

A fatality occurred in New Zealand after a man had a cardiac arrest following a “heavy drinking session” and a “bucket of ice tipped on his head” which goes to serve as an example that extreme conditions should be avoided! 

In short, 'Nomination Drenching' should prove to be a safe, amusing and fun way to boost recognition for the deaf community and the issues people face!

So just one more thing... you've been nominated!

Get filming and have fun! :)

Thursday, 10 July 2014

UK star John Barrowman goes Deaf for the Day

Whether you know him as Captain Jack from Torchwood, or mistook him for an American sounding Hugh Grant lookalike, John Barrowman MBE is a popular and well-known British TV personality. This week, John did something significant for the Deaf Community.

John Barrowman has performed in theatre, dance, film and television programmes over the last two decades and is well liked in the UK. Recently he decided to go 'Deaf for the day' as part of a filmed study that delves into the difficulties of being deaf. 

The video firstly depicts John having gel moulds inserted into his ears, leaving him with a 60% hearing loss. What follows is John's gradual withdrawal into himself, his increased feeling of isolation, and his pained frustration of being ignored and treated differently. It is a very powerful and poignant examination of life as a deaf person.

This week he appeared on Good Morning Britain, where he presented this video account and talked about it with the show's presenters. You can see this clip below.

John Barrowman's video experiment has become a visibile headline in this week's news, given John's high profile status in the UK, doing wonders for deaf awareness and the profile of Hearing Dogs in the process. 

John remarked on his hearing dog, Robyn "Having a hearing dog gave me back my independence, made me feel safe when out in public, and best of all, this clever dog provided me with wonderful companionship to alleviate the loneliness I had felt.”

You can also read John's blog here:

Hope you enjoy!

New developments at terptree!

This year, we will celebrate terptree's 8th birthday. Since 2006, we have worked tirelessly to improve the services to deaf people in the United Kingdom. We've grown both a lovely client base and a team of exceptional Communication Professionals, and the time has come for some internal growth too.

terptree logo

So here at terptree HQ there are a lot of fabulous changes on the way!
  • New office from 1 September 2014
  • Recruiting new staff which will double our staff  numbers
  • A brand new website on the way
  • Further improvements to terptree online - our online booking system
We have been growing rapidly over the past year, which means that over this coming year - we have an fantastic opportunity to harness this growth and further extend our offering as a business to both our clients and Communication Professionals.

So watch this space for more exciting stuff from terptree!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Communication professional of the month announced for June 2014!

Communication Professional of the month 
June 2014

Bridget Elliott

 Bridget Elliott photo

Another month on and another fantastic Communication Professional!

Well done Bridget on winning Communication Professionals of the month June 2014!

Bridget is a Registered Lipspeaker and has been chosen this month because she is a pleasure to work, she works consistently for terptree and is helpful, always taking the time to advise of her availability for bookings. She does a great job for both regular clients of terptree and one offs and has recently received outstanding feedback from two much valued clients.

Well done Bridget and we look forward to our continued working relationship!
This is what Bridget had to say "I was very surprised and proud to receive the award, and really appreciated the lovely comments in the card. Thank you so much.

I am very happy to be associated with terptree, and have found everyone I have had contact with to be very friendly and efficient.  I am always kept informed regarding bookings and it is great working with you - thank you."               

So you can see now after six months of awards - the qualities that we are looking for, maybe next month will be YOU!     

Monday, 7 July 2014

What's it like to be an Electronic Notetaker and now a writer?!

Thoughts from Wendy Turner and her career as an electronic notetaker and now a novelist! 

I trained as an Electronic Notetaker on the pilot course in London run by City Lit and RNID as it was then (now they're Action on Hearing Loss). It was tough!  The standard was high. But it was great, I still have friends made during training.  I am a member of the Association of Note-taking Professionals (ANP) through which some work requests are received.

I took early retirement from my post at London Metropolitan University and spotted an advertisement for the pilot e-notetaking course. I took it to be 'a nice little retirement job' but was amazed at the demand for electronic note-takers. 

For me, working with deaf students is a privilege. All of them have achieved their degrees (so far!) which is a tribute to their determination to overcome barriers and pursue their dream. Courses undertaken by students cover such interesting subjects as Art & Design, Criminology, Sociology, Economics, Law, Psychology, Computer Science and Teacher Training. The students are always enthusiastic and motivated without exception. In business I work mostly for Action on Hearing Loss (AOHL) but have covered assignments in Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Science Museum, Government Departments, HMRC, Social Services, a meeting in a tea shop (with cakes!), Kimberly-Clark and the Andrex puppy; even a Cats Home!  

Among my favourite memories are the teacher who signed to her hearing dog under the table, the hearing dog who got lost and queued up at an ice cream van (they gave him one) and fundraising antics of students which including cross-dressing and a 'man auction' for a night out. Great ideas!

In my writing life, I have been a member of Verulum Writers' Circle St. Albans for around 14 years and serve on the Committee. I love writing short stories, poems, articles and now my children's book 'Adventures of the Time Travelling Friends.' It's about a teenager, Beth, who stays with weird Aunt Hippo (Hypolita) while her mum has a baby. In Aunt Hippo's house, Meg mysteriously appears to Beth one night and explains that she lived there in 1785 and they become friends. Can Beth help Meg find her stolen silver chalice and rescue her family from poverty, all the time avoiding nasty Seawick the Butler and the horrible Fuzzy Ginger Beard who Meg's mum wants her to marry? Find out about Meg's friend Bryan who looks after the four beautiful horses.  

Visit and join in Beth's blog with your comments and ideas.