After facing life long difficulties and challenges because of my different abilities, facing no life prospects, The job centre had written me off that I would cost too much to get into work. Again leaving me feeling worthless, 8 years on benefits no life, but i knew i could do things and at times need a helping hand. 

As part of being with NSA (Northern Star Acting) I learned that there’s ways i can make money, come off of benefits and be independent.  But I just didn’t know where to start, what tools I needed, and I kept thinking will this work? how will it work? its something I am passionate about, something I could deliver that i am good at. 

I decided, to start putting together plans, and coursework, finding the first venue wasn’t hard, I had the first class at Swinnow community centre, absolutely fantastic, absolute lifted my self worth, knowing that the tribe was loving the classes, knowing that they are having fun, in a comfortable and safe environment, they slowly opened up and felt they could share their experiences, their stories within the group. it is now been going 6 months and they are taking their first assessment in 2 weeks. I am excited for them, as a group its come along such a long way. 

I have a new intake of people and the one question that stuck to my mind is “does it really take 5 years to be a good signer?” the long and short of it is, on a normal accredited course, yes it does, because basics is a 1 year course, level 1 is a 2 years course and level 2 is 2 years also…. however i run the course all throughout and with making it a fun learning people are picking it up very quickly, I go through the combine levels with them and they work and expand themselves in their own times as extra practise. 

Their confidence has soared, they are happy,  that makes me happy, to see them grow as individuals. This for me is a big achievement.


  • Katie J Redstar

    sign language & communication Coach, Author

    Deaf and visual impaired,  founder of Ignite the Light sign language, communication & sign language coach, Author. A Diff-abled coach. Living life's dreams..... Actions speak louder than words.