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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.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

The National Union of British Sign Language Interpreters (NUBSLI)

NUBSLI was recently set up by a group of British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters concerned for the future of their profession. In this economic backdrop of Government funding cuts and general drives to save money, interpreters have witnessed first-hand the severity of the effects on our Deaf clients, colleagues and friends. Access to an appropriate level of interpreting support is being eroded, with recent examples including the cuts to Legal Aid, the Ministry of Justice contract with Capita, changes to Access to Work and the impending cuts to Disabled Student Allowance.

Alongside our work supporting Deaf colleagues to challenge and argue for their rights, we have recognised that our interpreting profession has also become vulnerable and is potentially under threat.

The unique relationship between Deaf people and BSL interpreters means that in working to protect interpreters’ professional standards and working conditions, we will also be working to make sure that there will continue to be experienced, skilled and registered interpreters for Deaf people to work with.

It’s because of all these things that we feel it is useful and important  to have a Union that supports the continuing role of BSL interpreters and translators.

NUBSLI will be democratic, working through co-ordinated action and with a coherent message, enabling us to earn an appropriate and sustainable wage with terms and conditions that keep us healthy. We will be looking to make contacts and establish relationships with external organisations in order to inform, educate and influence, rather than allowing the profession to continue to be exposed to the decisions of external decision makers. There needs to be greater awareness about when and why Deaf people need access to communication from trained professionals, as opposed to someone with basic BSL skills, and more of an understanding about the complexity involved within the interpreting and translating process.
It is still very early days and we are aware that a Union will not suddenly solve all the issues. However, with many members and by working together we will likely be stronger and more resilient. We have the potential to take some really positive action to safeguard our careers if we unite, and so I would encourage you to join in order to help make this happen.
The first meeting of NUBSLI was held on Wednesday 25th June 6.30pm. Being a division of Unite the meeting will take place at the Unite Head Office on Theobalds Road in Holborn.
More information about the value of being in a Union can be found at: