The following is an extract from ‘History of CSWs’ by Maria Bailey and Andrew Owen.

The Road Ahead:
Shaping Support in Deaf Education

Saturday 29 June 2013, Bedford College.

Following the 2012 conference, Maria Bailey took on the new role of Conference Organiser and quickly set about securing a venue for 2013. Nigel Kerwin, ACSW Membership Secretary (a CSW based at Bedford College) stepped up to the mark and obtained agreement from the college that the 2013 conference could be held there.


For the first time, in line with other organisations, a three tier level of sponsorship was introduced for this year’s conference, with companies and organisations having the opportunity of purchasing Gold, Silver or Standard sponsor status in exchange for a range of benefits.

Clarion, with Communication ID/Signamic were Gold Sponsors, while Silver Sponsor status was secured by Deaf Umbrella and Bee Communications, who also provided a remote captioning service for the morning session.

A total of fourteen exhibitors filled the foyer of Bedford College on the day of the conference, creating a real buzz. Delegates mingled around the stalls whilst refreshments were served. Even the weather was smiling on us all for once that summer, and people ate al fresco!


Key note speakers that day were the ever popular and highly respected Jemina Napier, recently returned to the UK after a fifteen year spell in Sydney, Australia. Jemina’s presentation was entitled ‘Shaping support in deaf education through evidence-based classroom interpreted data’. Sadly, an early technical glitch meant that Jemina was unable to use PowerPoint to illustrate her presentation. A second technical glitch with the remote captioning service, due to a break in internet connection, also affect the presentation. However, professional as ever, Jemina expertly continued with her presentation, which was warmly received by all.

The inimitable and well-loved Linda Richards gave the second keynote presentation. Linda gave anecdotes of her education, but because of the technical problems, conference was unable to see her visual aids. However, once again, Linda had everyone rolling in the aisles with her wit and humour.

As part of the Gold Sponsor status, a ten-minute presentation was given by the two gold sponsors, Clarion and Communication ID/Signamic. Professional as ever, everyone muddled through without technical aids, even giving an impromptu song and dance!

Lunch was served in the foyer whilst delegates again chatted to stall holders and networked with other delegates.

Afternoon workshops

  1. Linda Richards: English Like What I Wrote
  2. Jill Newlands: Voiceover
  3. Mo Saville: Between a Rock and a Hard Place
  4. Rachel O’Neill: Deaf Young People
  5. Sally Paull: Deaf Apprentice
The conference proved to be an overwhelming success with an excellent time had by all. Feedback from delegates was very positive in spite of the technical problems. As a time of networking it was second to none.