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Richard Walklett Interviewed on BBC Radio Oxford

Did you hear Richard recently on BBC Radio Oxford? We thought he did a great job of promoting Sign Language and learning BSL. Transcript below. Catch the audio recording on Sound Cloud here:

Host: Now, we always have guests on, particularly on a Friday. Let's talk to people from the local community, see what's going on. And tonight I'm speaking to Richard Walklett Now. He was born with hearing loss, and that inspired him to get involved with the world of sign language.

So, as a result, alongside his wife,he set up Sign Together UK in Oxford Charity that offers sign language classes for people all around Ox

fordshire helping people learn new ways of communicating.

And Richard joins me now. Good evening, Richard.

Rich: Hello, Matt. How are you doing?

Host: I'm really good. Thank you. So tell us a little bit about this. How did you get involved in sign language?

Rich: During lockdown, I decided as a bit of a hobby just to learn sign language, as I wanted to For many, many years. And as many people were here and lost, they probably had challenges over lockdown, lip reading with face masks and so on.

I just decided to use it as a bit of a communication tool between me and my wife and then kind of fell in love with it. Really?

So I started running as a beginner, and it sort of took off from there, Really? And then you ended up deciding to kind of turn it into a charity.So what Motivated that?

Rich: Actually, it's not a charity. I'm afraid it's a local business, but we're working with charities.

such as Action for Children. We've done some work online with as well and sort of various,

various enterprises helping Children and adults with, disadvantages and disabilities, autism is a big one as well.

So we get a lot of students with autism, it's a really good communication tool

Host: The big question is, is it easy to learn? Because I imagine it's quite difficult,

isn't it?

It really depends on how you learn.I mean, if you're a visual learner like myself,

I actually find it quite quick to pick up. but if you gave me a textbook to try and learn some,

learn from some text, I struggle with that. So some people find it quite easy because it's visual.

Some people don't.

We kind of have lots and lots of different, types of people within various groups in our courses in in Oxford and all all over and we serve many minorities, we have lots of people from the LGBT Q communities, we have people who have autism,who are deaf and we and and generally just people are just fascinated by sign language and and making friends and socializing

It's been fantastic.

Host: And how does that make you feel accomplished that you're that you're helping all these

People? Some of which, of course, probably need sign language as a way to communicate. How does that make you feel?

Rich: It's amazing to me. I'm quite an emotional guy. And seeing my students communicate in their room seeing 15 people in the one room communicating all this sign was total silence and having a good time. It's really, really heartwarming.

Host: So it also gives them an opportunity to just consider what it might be like to use the language and use a different language?

Rich: Yeah. exactly.

Host: It's one of the ones that people don't think of when you think of languages.I guess. But,

but it is a language as well. So if somebody's listening to this now thinking sign language,

I want to learn more.Where can they find out more information they can?

Rich: they can go on to and you'll find our courses and corporate events and all sorts of bits and pieces on there all throughout Oxfordshire and and surrounding counties as well.

Host: Go and have a look. Brilliant. Thank you very much for that.That is Richard from Sign together and that website again for you.

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