An inspirational encounter leads to career change
Pete Selley from Llandudno had been working as a taxi driver for over six years when Beth Williams from Llandudno got into his car and handed him a note explaining she was profoundly deaf and where she wanted to be taken.
Pete was so inspired by the experience that he decided to learn British Sign Language in order to communicate with deaf people and has since become a communication support worker helping deaf people to access college courses.
Pete said “Initially, I just decided to do a 10-week introductory course in sign language so I could communicate with any deaf people who got into my cab. I really enjoyed the course and took to it so well that after completing the introductory course I decided I wanted to learn more about working with the profoundly deaf.
“I signed up to do a one year part-time Level 1 sign language course, which I completed while I was still driving my taxi. Alongside the course, I was really keen to understand more about communicating with deaf people on a day to day basis so I got in touch with Beth’s daughter, Joanne, who works as a sign language interpreter.
“When I explained to Joanne that her mum had inspired me to learn sign language and undertake a course in working with people who are deaf she became very emotional.
“Joanne has been fundamental to my learning. She really helped me to fully immerse myself in the deaf community, which has allowed me to grow and develop my skills even further.
“Since completing my level one qualification, I have undertaken a series of other courses in British Sign Language and now have qualifications up to level 6 NVQ in British Sign Language, as well as my teaching qualification. I now run deaf awareness training for college teachers and staff to help them communicate with people who are deaf and hard of hearing.
“Before I met Beth I was perfectly happy driving my taxi but without knowing it, she has completely changed my life.
“Taking the courses in British Sign Language and teaching has been the best thing I’ve ever done. Not only have I gained a whole host of new skills and qualifications, but I’ve also managed to find a really rewarding and fulfilling career that I absolutely love.
“I would encourage anyone else to consider learning and challenge themselves, either to acquire a new skill or improve on existing skills. You just never know where it might take you.”
Pete changed his life by learning the skills he needed to start a career he loves.
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