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Communication support worker

Communication support workers (CSWs) help deaf students in education.

Potential salary

£18,000 to £22,000

Employment by 2024

+1.34%

Working hours

37 to 39 term time

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • knowledge of psychology
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • assessing the needs of learners
  • helping them communicate with others in class
  • supporting them by lipspeaking and notetaking
  • interpreting between spoken English and BSL
  • being creative in adapting learning materials to match learners’ interests
  • using a range of ways to help them understand what is required in class
  • helping them produce written work
  • supporting learners in talking about their learning needs with teachers
  • building relationships with learners, their families, and other professionals
  • thinking of ways for learners to become more independent
  • providing deaf-awareness training for other staff and students
  • supporting the school or college in improving the environment for hearing aids and lipreading

You could work at a school, at a special needs school, at a college or at a university.

With experience, you could move into a management position within sensory impairment or disability services. With further training, you could progress to become a sign language interpreter, a disability adviser or a teacher of the deaf.

There are some opportunities to use sign language skills in theatre, television, multimedia production and courts of law. Signers are sometimes booked to interpret in interviews.

You can get more advice about working in communication support from Signature.

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