Conference 2016: Saturday 25 June at Derby College, The Roundhouse.
This was an extra special event to celebrate our 40th anniversary.
(NATED, now trading as adept).

Keynote 1: Rachel Sutton-Spence
title: The Linguistics of Sign Language Literature

Rachel demonstrated how we can apply ideas from sign linguistics to analyse BSL poems and stories, so we can better appreciate the rich complexity of the language used in this beautiful art form.

Rachel has been researching and teaching sign language linguistics since 1989. Over the last decade she has become increasingly interested in sign language literature and folklore and what it can teach us about sign language and deaf communities.

Until 2014 she was at the University of Bristol at the Centre for Deaf Studies, before moving to the Sign Language Studies department at the Federal University of Santa Catarina in southern Brazil. She is co-author (with Bencie Woll) of The Linguistics of British Sign Language (1999) and Introducing Sign Language Literature: Creativity and Folklore (2016) (with Michiko Kaneko).

Keynote 2: Craig Crowley
title: My Deaf Odyssey

For the most of Craig’s personal, educational and working life, Craig has rarely talked about his personal experiences to the general public.  When ADEPT asked him to speak about his journey and experiences he decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to do so. He calls it his ‘Odyssey’.


Craig believes it is such an all-encompassing word and fits in with his own experiences, challenges, hilarious anecdotes and personal accounts. These range from the struggles of being part of mainstream school education, of early deaf role models, of leadership training development with FYD, the communication support whilst at university and becoming first deaf president of a Students Union, to eventually working for deaf and disability organisations as well as encountering and embracing national & international sports and politics along the way!

Craig is CEO of Action Deafness, with over 20 years’ experience of senior management in voluntary organisations at local, regional, national and international level. Set up enterprising AD Communications (interpreting & Red Dot Connect), AD Books (publishing & BSL training), AD Community (1:1 support service) & AD Cultural (BME in East Midlands). A distinguished leader within international sports movement; served as President of International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD)/Deaflympics in 2009-2013. Now an Associate of Efficere Sports International and Honorary President of UK Deaf Sport. NRCPD board member and Signature Trustee. He was awarded an MBE for services to Deaf Sport at The Queen's 80th Birthday Honours in 2006.

Video 2a: Rachel and Craig Q&As

Keynote 3: Paul Redfern
title: The BSL Charter

Paul Redfern - BDA

Title: BSL Charter

Paul is the Business Development Manager at the BDA and previously was Head of Community Development for five years.  His Job is to support David Buxton with fundraising, managing staff and ensuring the head office runs well. Paul kindly stepped in for Robin Ash who could not attend at the last moment. Paul went through details of the BSL Charter using a power point, and explained that adept are the first national organisation to be awarded a BSL Charter.

At the end of Paul's informative and humorous presentation, the chair of adept Jill Bussien was very proud to be invited to sign the Charter. An historic moment!

Martin McLean
title: Transition to Higher Education and Employment

Martin McLean - Education and Training Policy Advisor at NDCS

The National Deaf Children's Society has been producing new resources on post-16 transition. Martin presented these, and explained the effect of access to higher education for deaf students in light of the changes to the DSA. Always insightful and informative, Martin was clear and to the point despite battling with microphone issues at the start of his presentation.

Martin is an Education and Training Policy Advisor at the National Deaf Children's Society. He specialises in post-14 policy including Further Education, Higher Education, apprenticeships, access to examinations and transition to employment. He is deaf himself and is passionate about ensuring that deaf students have the support they need in all phases of their education. In his previous role at NDCS, Martin managed the Department for Education funded I-Sign project which included the establishment of a fund to support CSW development. Martin took over the role of adept vice chair at this meeting.

Paul Clark
title: DSA, Mandatory Registration and Quality Assurance: a Notetaking Update

Paul Clark: Managing Director of Note-Able Notetakers Ltd.

In February 2016, the department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced changes to DSA funding for Non Medical Helpers in Higher Education. Since April 2016, specific notetaking services are subject to the new regulations - including mandatory registration and minimum qualifications. Paul outlined current requirements, focusing on their implications for notetaking providers and service users.

Paul is a teacher and notetaker, with more than 20 years experience working in communication support. Until 2014 he headed Notetaker Quality Standards for Student Services at City Lit. Over the same period he also coordinated and taught City Lit’s professional Notetaker Training programme. Paul is currently Managing Director of Note-Able Notetakers Ltd.