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Mall staff learn sign language to help deaf shoppers

STAFF at intu Braehead have been taught basic sign language, so they can help shoppers who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Sign language tutor, David O’Rorke shows Louise Reynolds how to spell out letters.

Customer service, security and cleaning staff at the shopping and leisure destination have been learning how to communicate by finger-spelling letters, phrases and numbers and how to sign greetings, pleasantries and directions.
The move follows staff being trained by Visablity Scotland to help people who are blind and a free service introduced to provide a trained guide to aid people who are visually impaired to get around the shops.

Staff spell out the name intu Braehead as the sign says above their heads

Staff have also been given specialist training by Scottish Autism, to make life more comfortable for people with autism when they visited Intu Braehead.

A specialist trainer in sign language was brought in by intu Braehead to teach up to 20 staff basic sign language skills during the two-day course.

Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, Delia Henry, said: “It’s great that staff at intu Braehead are becoming more deaf aware and learning basic British Sign Language which will help them communicate better with deaf customers or colleagues whose first language is BSL.

“Scotland’s 13,000 BSL users would appreciate it if other shopping centres and retail staff followed intu Braehead’s lead and learned some signs or fingerspelling to welcome people who are deaf.”

Community development manager at intu Braehead, Lydia Brown said: “We want intu Braehead to be welcoming to everyone.

“And we hope that having staff trained in basic sign language will give people who are deaf an even better experience when they visit us.

“The staff who have taken part in the course realise the importance of deaf awareness and they’ll put their new skills to good use by assisting people who are deaf and putting them at ease during their time in our busy shopping centre.”