I’m a deaf ski instructor – National Deaf Children’s Society UK


[music playing] Hello, my name’s Arran, I’m 22-years-old and I live in Hemel Hempstead – here. I’m profoundly deaf, I’ve got a cochlear implant and I communicate through lipreading and listening to speech. [music playing] My passion is skiing because it gives you a free mind, with skiing you can go as fast as you want, you can go off the side, go through the trees, mountains, through the different lanes, different levels of paths, it’s just fantastic. So how I started skiing is with my mum and dad, they used to take me to the mountains in France. My mum was always worried about me skiing and communication barriers but in France it’s a different language, they couldn’t speak any English. So I just tried going into a hearing skiing group and learnt skiing from just following the ski instructor, following their body movements, following their skis, copying them and I did well. When I worked here at the snow centre in the rentals department for a few years I saw many ski instructors enjoying teaching and I thought “why can’t I do that?” So I spoke to Richard who owns his own business called Snowbility, as you can see from my t-shirt, and I asked Richard “can I become a ski instructor?” and he said “yes, why not. Speak to BASI”, which is the institution that helps you become a ski instructor and they said “yes, of course you can and if there are any barriers maybe we can adjust the barriers for you”. So I went with an interpreter and we communicated really well and I didn’t experience any barriers on the course itself and I managed to pass the ski instructors course and become fully qualified. Many deaf people have always asked “how did you learn to ski? Wasn’t communicating a problem?”, so they asked me how I learnt to ski and I said “don’t worry, it’s really easy to pick up and learn”. You follow it once and you pick it up, it’s like learning to crawl, then you learn to walk. You know, you will remember everything. So yes, communication is a problem because the instructor spoke French and I spoke English, I couldn’t hear a thing. But then eventually I realised that if I was to become a ski instructor it would be a similar type of experience for them but I would be able to teach them without barriers because I can sign. If there is something you dream of – do it! Go for it because there is nothing that is impossible. Anything you want to do, go and do it, try and achieve what you want, like I did here. Don’t forget to subscribe to the National Deaf Children’s Society’s YouTube channel, to see more videos with deaf people like me. There are new videos every Sunday.

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