Delivery of the workshop


  • Welcome everyone and check that everyone’s access requirements have been met.
  • Check that participants are comfortable with the seating arrangements and are able to see and hear clearly.
  • Check with participants that all equipment, e.g. the loop system, is operating effectively.
  • Describe the layout of the room, and venue where appropriate, and where doors, exits, toilets and other facilities are placed.
  • Explain practical arrangements relating to the building, meeting or event e.g. what to do in case of fire, where lunch will be served, when there will be breaks, etc.

Visual aids - if you are using slides they will need to be read/explained for blind participants, or those with visual impairments. Any visuals such as photographs or DVDs (e.g. where subtitles are not available) should be considered in advance as to how suitable they will be.

Translation - if you are using translation of any kind (sign -language or a lip-speaker (for lip readers)) you need to allow time for everything the speaker says, and any contribution for participants to be translated. This can double the amount of time needed to run the workshop - so make sure you haven't got too much packed into the day. Participants may also need to be reminded not to talk over each other, including in break-out groups. You may need to establish a 'queuing -up' system, perhaps by raising hands, so it is clear who is saying what.

Don't be tempted to cram lots of different 'break-out' groups into one large room; the level of background noise can make it impossible for people with hearing impairments to understand what is being said in their group.

Sign Language Interpretation

  • A Signer will stand facing the audience and to one side, translating the speech into sign language. Address the workshop participant, not the signer/support worker. Remember that signing and reading signing is very tiring and for an all-day event you may need to engage two signers so that they can alternate. Any technical terminology may need to be given in advance so signers are familiar with the terms.

 Check on visibility and audibility

  • Can everyone see the speaker at all times?
  • Deaf participants will not be able to lip-read if you turn your back and continue speaking while writing on a flipchart or whiteboard.
  • If you darken the room to show a DVD, ensure the room is fully-lit before you resume speaking.
  • Deaf participants will not be able to read visual materials and watch the presenter talk at the same time – reading time needs to be allowed.
  • Some overhead projectors are noisy, make sure they are switched off when not in use.

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