DEAFBLIND

There are an estimated 356,000 people with combined visual and hearing loss in the UK.

We offer qualifications in Deafblind Communication from Level 2 to Level 3.

Qualification aim

This qualification is designed to enable learners to develop knowledge, understanding and skill in relation to communication with deafblind people who use English, and who make use of residual sight and hearing in communication. The deafblind experience is explored in depth and the individuality of the dual sensory loss is the priority. This qualification is seen as the starting point for those who wish towork in the deafblind field.

Qualification objectives

At the end of the qualification candidates will be able to:

  • understand and know how deafblindness affects communication for deafblind people
  • use a range of communication methods to support conversation with a deafblind person
  • take part in an conversation with a deafblind person
  • guide a deafblind person within a building and to a place of safety.

Qualification structure

To achieve the full Level 2 Award in Communicating and Guiding with Deafblind People, learners are required to achieve three units. Unit K202 is the theory unit; Unit T201 and Unit T202 are practical units. Units can be achieved separately.

Unit QAN unit number Unit title Assessment
K202 L/601/8630 Understanding Communication with Deafblind People Written examination
T201 R/601/8631 Communicating Deafblind People Practical assessment of skills

Suggested duration

The following table details the recommended learning hours required to achieve this qualification.

Unit Guided Learning Hours (GLH) Additional study hours Total learning hours Credit value
K202 20 10 30 3
T201 20 5 25 3
Total 40 15 55 6

Guided learning hours include assessment time.

Additional study hours include private study, homework, practice, etc.

Signature approved centres will deliver this qualification over agreed timescales.

Essential requirements

It assumes no previous knowledge or experience, but candidates will benefit from having achieved Signature Level 1 Award in Deaf Awareness and Communication before they start this qualification.

Candidates for assessment must have clear speech to achieve the requirement listed in unit T201. It is the responsibility of the centre to explain this requirement before accepting a candidate for this qualification.

Target group

Level 2 Certificate in Communicating with Deafblind People is suitable for those who:

  • wish to gain knowledge, perhaps in connection with their work (paid or voluntary), about how deafblindness affects communication for the four main groups of deafblind people;
  • wish to improve their skills, for use in the workplace or elsewhere, when communicating in English with deafblind people.

Progression routes

On completion of Signature Level 2 Award in Communicating with Deafblind People, a range of further qualifications are available, including:

  • Level 2 Award in Communicating and Guiding with Deafblind People
  • Level 3 Award in Insights into Communication with Congenitally Deafblind People

A range of professional qualifications and a range of other qualifications at Levels 2 and 3 are also available.

Qualification aim

This qualification is designed to give learners the knowledge and skills necessary to communicate with deafblind people who use English and the Deafblind Manual Alphabet. It builds on the knowledge and skills gained in Level 2 Award in Communicating with Deafblind People qualification with which this qualification shares two units (K202 and T201).

Qualification objectives

At the end of the qualification candidates will be able to:

  • understand and know how deafblindness affects communication for deafblind people
  • use a range of communication methods to support conversation with a deafblind person
  • take part in an conversation with a deafblind person.

Qualification structure

To achieve the full Level 2 Award in Communicating with Deafblind People, learners arerequired to achieve two units. Unit K202 is the theory unit, and Unit T201 is the practical unit.

Units can be taken in any order and can be achieved separately.

Unit QAN unit number Unit title Assessment
K202 L/601/8630 Understanding Communication with Deafblind People Written paper
T201 R/601/8631 Communicating Deafblind People Practical assessment of skills
T202 D/601/8633 Deafblind Manual Communication and Guiding Practical assessment of skills

Suggested duration

The following table details the recommended learning hours required to achieve this qualification.

Unit Guided Learning Hours (GLH) Additional study hours Total learning hours Credit value
K202 20 10 30 3
T201 20 5 25 3
Total 40 15 55 6

Guided learning hours include assessment time.

Additional study hours include private study, homework, practice, etc.

Signature approved centres will deliver this qualification over agreed timescales.

Essential requirements

It assumes no previous knowledge or experience, but candidates will benefit from having achieved Signature Level 1 Award in Deaf Awareness and Communication before they start this qualification.

Candidates for assessment must have clear speech to achieve the requirement listed in unit T201. It is the responsibility of the centre to explain this requirement before accepting a candidate for this qualification.

Target group

Level 2 Certificate in Communicating with Deafblind People is suitable for those who:

  • wish to gain knowledge, perhaps in connection with their work (paid or voluntary), about how deafblindness affects communication for the four main groups of deafblind people;
  • wish to improve their skills, for use in the workplace or elsewhere, when communicating in English with deafblind people.

Progression routes

On completion of Signature Level 2 Award in Communicating with Deafblind People, a range of further qualifications are available, including:

  • Level 2 Award in Communicating and Guiding with Deafblind People
  • Level 3 Award in Insights into Communication with Congenitally Deafblind People

A range of professional qualifications and a range of other qualifications at Levels 2 and 3 are also available.

Qualification aim

This qualification is designed to give learners the knowledge and skills necessary to work effectively with all groups of deafblind* people. It meets the Care Act, 2014 Deafblind requirements which includes the “Care and Support Policy Guidance for Deafblind Children and Adults, 2014” under the Care Act, 2014, issued under Section 7, Department of Health, previously known as (LAC(DH)(2009)6).

*In this specification, the term ‘deafblind’ relates to all of the following: people with acquired deafblindness, Deaf visually-impaired people, blind hearing-impaired people, and people with congenital deafblindness. This qualification is not designed to give candidates the required skills to assess children who are deafblind or someone whose acquired deafblindness is of a complex nature.

Qualification objectives

At the end of the qualification candidates will be able to:

  • Understand the affects and facilitate communication for all deafblind adults
  • Understand how deafblind adults access information and the environment around them
  • Understand movement, orientation and mobility and facilitate guiding a deafblind person within a building and to a place of safety using mobility aids
  • Understand the difficulties faced by deafblind wheelchair users
  • Understand and ensure effective interaction facilitated with an enablement focus
  • Understand the opportunities and challenges faced by deafblind adults
  • Apply all of the knowledge and understanding to be able to assess the needs of a deafblind person

Qualification structure

To achieve the full Level 3 Award in Evaluating the needs of Deafblind Adults, learners are required to achieve two units: DK301 and DK302. Units can be achieved separately.

Signature Unit Code RQF unit number Unit title
DK301 A/615/3442 Understanding Congenital Deafblindness using a Person Centred Approach
DK302 J/615/3444 Insights into Mobility and Implications for Communication with Deafblind Individuals

The recommended length of study is detailed below:

Unit Guided Learning Hours (GLH) Additional study hours Study hours Credit value
DK301 20 10 30 3
DK302 20 10 30 3

Total qualification time:

Guided Learning Hours (GLH) Additional Study Hours Total Qualification Time Credit Value at Level
40 20 60 6

Essential requirements

Learners must be able to demonstrate competence in Signature Level 2 Award in Communicating and Guiding DBG2 before they start this qualification. It is the responsibility of the Centre to ensure the candidate meets this requirement before enrolling a candidate for this qualification.

Target group

Level 3 Award in Evaluating the needs of Deafblind Adults is suitable for those who:

  • wish to gain knowledge and skills to work as a Specialist Assessor for Deafblind people in connection with their paid work
  • wish to improve their skills as they work on a regular basis with people with sensory loss, multi-sensory loss or deafblind people (e.g. Social Workers, Communication Support Workers, Communicator-Guides, PA support workers, Intervenors, workers in Deaf, Blind and Deafblind organisations.

Progression routes

There is a range of further Signature qualifications available, including:

  • Level 3 Award in Insights into Communication with Congenitally Deafblind People
  • Level 3 Certificate in Working Effectively with Deafblind Manual
  • Level 3 Certificate in Working Effectively with Visual Frame Hands On
  • Level 6 Certificate in Working Effectively with Deafblind Manual
  • Level 6 Certificate in Working Effectively with Visual Frame Hands On

Level 6 Certificate in Working Effectively with Deafblind Manual and Visual Frame and Hands on A range of professional qualifications and a range of other qualifications at Levels 2 and 3 are also available

Qualification aim

Signature Level 3 Award in Insights into Communication with Congenitally Deafblind People is designed to enable learners develop knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to communication with deafblind* people who do not use English or British Sign Language (BSL) as a formal language. Causes and implications of congenital deafblindness and the roles of those who promote and develop communication, including the development of a communication method is explored in detail. The importance of a deafblind person's wishes in decision-making is seen as vital.

* In this specification, the term 'deafblind' relates to people with congenital deafblindness.

Qualification objectives

At the end of the qualification, learners will be able:

  • to understand the causes of congenital deafblindness, and factors influencing the congenitally deafblind person's social development
  • to develop the necessary knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to communication with the congenitally deafblind individual.

Qualification structure

To achieve the full Level 3 Award in Insights into Communication with Congenitally Deafblind People, learners are required to achieve two units.

Units can be taken in any order and can be achieved separately.

Unit QAN unit number Unit title Assessment
K301 J/601/8724 Understanding Congenital Deafblindness Written paper
K302 H/601/8729 The Congenitally Deafblind Individual Written paper

Suggested duration

The following table details the recommended learning hours required to achieve this qualification.

Unit Guided Learning Hours (GLH) Additional study hours Total learning hours Credit value
K301 20 10 30 3
K302 20 10 30 3
Total 40 20 60 6

Guided learning hours include assessment time.

Additional study hours include private study, homework, practice, etc.

Signature approved centres will deliver this qualification over agreed timescales.

Essential requirements

It assumes there is previous knowledge and candidates will have benefited from having achieved the Signature Level 2 Award in Communicating with Deafblind People and/or the Signature Level 2 Award in Communicating and Guiding with Deafblind People.

Target group

Level 3 Award in Insights into Communication with Congenitally Deafblind People is suitable for those who:

  • wish to gain knowledge, perhaps in connection with their work (paid or voluntary), about how deafblindness affects communication for congenitally deafblind people
  • wish to understand the ways, for use in the workplace or elsewhere, in which they can communicate with congenitally deafblind people.

Progression routes

On completion of Signature Level 3 Award in Insights into Communication with Congenitally Deafblind People, a range of other qualifications at Levels 2 and 3 are available. Please see Signature website for further details.

Qualification aim

The aim of the qualification is to enable learners to use knowledge and skills already obtained in previous qualifications and to be able to work effectively with deafblind people who use Deafblind Manual in a variety of everyday settings including: conversations, socialising, educational, personal, employment (Access to Work).

Qualification objectives

This qualification will provide learners with both the technical skills and strategies to be able to communicate effectively with users of Deafblind Manual and the knowledge and skills involved with making language accessible to deafblind people. This will include concepts and structures for describing/analysing English and will develop understanding of ways to make information accessible while maintaining meaning and an awareness of the use of additional communication methods to convey this meaning.

Qualification structure

The qualification is divided into two units each of which will be assessed separately. Although assessments can be taken straight after each unit has been taught, Signature suggests that all assessments are best taken at the end of the course when all teaching is complete.

Unit QAN unit number Unit title Assessment
DM301 Y/507/3281 Producing and Receiving Deafblind Manual Practical assessment of skills
MOD301 F/507/3288 Modifying Language for Deafblind People Written paper and a practical assessment of skills

Suggested duration

The following table details the recommended learning hours required to achieve this qualification.

Unit Guided Learning Hours (GLH) Additional study hours Total learning hours Credit value
DM301 60 20 80 8
K302 40 20 60 6
Total 100 40 140 14

Guided Learning Hours

The certificate has a credit value of 14 and 140 hours of learning time in total. The recommended guided learning hours is 100 in total as show in the table below. The guided learning hours of 100 is the time the learner is timetabled for face to face contact with the centre and should include:

  • Classroom based teaching
  • Individual or group tutorials
  • Feedback or observed practice

Essential requirements

In order to be entered for this course leading to this qualification, learners must be able to demonstrate competence at DBG Level 2 or equivalent. It is the responsibility of the centre to ensure these requirements has been met before accepting a learner on the course. Learners should be assessed at their induction for the skills required.

Progression routes

On completion of Signature Level 3 Certificate in Working Effectively with Deafblind Manual (DM) successful candidates can go on to study:

  • Signature Level 3 Certificate in Working Effectively with Visual Frame Hands On Signers (VFHO3)
  • Level 6 Certificate in Working Effectively with Deafblind Manual
  • Level 6 Certificate in Working Effectively with Visual Frame Hands On
  • Level 6 Certificate in Working Effectively with Deafblind Manual and Visual Frame Hands On Signers

A range of professional qualifications and other qualifications at Levels 3 and Level 6 are also available.

Qualification aim

The aim of the qualification is to enable learners to use knowledge and skills already obtained in previous qualifications and to be able to work effectively with deafblind people who use VF/HO in a variety of everyday settings including: conversations, socialising, educational, personal, employment (Access to Work).

Qualification objectives

This qualification will provide learners with both the technical skills and strategies to be able to communicate effectively with users of VF/HO and the knowledge and skills involved with making language accessible to deafblind people. This will include concepts and structures for describing/analysing English and will develop understanding of ways to make information accessible while maintaining meaning and an awareness of the use of additional communication methods.

Qualification structure

The qualification is divided into two units each of which will be assessed separately. Although assessments can be taken straight after each unit has been taught, Signature suggests that all assessments are best taken at the end of the course when all teaching is complete.

Units can be taken in any order and can be achieved separately.

Unit QAN unit number Unit title Assessment
VFHO301 J/507/3311 Using Visual Frame and Hands on Signing A practical assessment of skills
MOD301 F/507/3288 Modifying Language for Deafblind People A written paper and practical assessment of skills

Suggested duration

The following table details the recommended learning hours required to achieve this qualification.

Unit Guided Learning Hours (GLH) Additional study hours Total learning hours Credit value
VFHO301 60 20 80 8
MOD301 40 20 60 6
Total 100 40 140 14

Guided Learning Hours

The certificate has a credit value of 14 and 140 hours of learning time in total. The recommended guided learning hours is 100 in total as show in the table below. The guided learning hours of 100 is the time the learner is timetabled for face to face contact with the centre and should include:

  • Classroom based teaching
  • Individual or group tutorials
  • Feedback or observed practice

Essential requirements

In order to be entered for this course leading to this qualification, learners must be able to demonstrate competence at DBG Level 2. It is the responsibility of the centre to ensure these requirements have been met before accepting a learner on the course. Learners should be assessed at their induction for the skills required.

Progression routes

On completion of the qualification, the learners may wish to progress to the following qualifications:

  • Level 3 Certificate in Working Effectively with Deafblind Manual
  • Level 6 Certificate in Working Effectively with Deafblind Manual
  • Level 6 Certificate in Working Effectively with Visual Frame Hands On
  • Level 6 Certificate in Working Effectively with Deafblind Manual and Visual Frame Hands On Signers

Qualification aim

The aim of the qualification is to enable learners to use knowledge and skills already obtained in previous qualifications and through experience, to be able to work with and to be able to interpret for deafblind people using Deafblind Manual. Working in a variety of everyday settings including: conversations, socialising, educational, personal and employment (Access to Work).

Qualification objectives

This qualification will provide learners with both the technical skills and strategies to be able to communicate with and interpret effectively with and for users of Deafblind Manual as well as the knowledge and skills involved with making language accessible to deafblind people. This will include and further develop understanding of ways to make language and information accessible while maintaining meaning and an awareness of the use of additional communication methods to convey this meaning.

Qualification structure

The qualification is divided into two units each of which will be assessed separately. Although assessments can be taken straight after each unit has been taught, Signature suggests that all assessments are best taken at the end of the course when all teaching is complete.

Unit QAN unit number Unit title Assessment
DM601 L/507/5948 Producing and Receiving Deafblind Manual Portfolio
MOD603 R/507/5949 Modifying Language for Deafblind People Portfolio

Guided Learning Hours

The certificate has a credit value of 14 and 140 hours of learning time in total. The recommended guided learning hours is 100 in total as shown in the table below. The guided learning hours of 100 is the time the learner is timetabled for face to face contact with the centre and should include:

  • Classroom based teaching
  • Individual or group tutorials
  • Feedback or observed practice
Unit Guided Learning Hours (GLH) Additional study hours Total learning hours Credit value
DM601 60 20 80 8
MOD603 40 20 60 6
Total 100 40 140 14

Guided learning hours include assessment time.

Additional study hours include private study, homework, practice, etc.

Signature approved centres will deliver this qualification over agreed timescales.

Essential requirements

In order to be entered for this course leading to this qualification, learners must be able to demonstrate competence at DBG Level 2 and DM Level 3 or equivalent. It is the responsibility of the centre to ensure these requirements have been met before accepting a learner on the course. Learners should be assessed at their induction for the skills required.

Progression routes

On completion of Signature Level 6 Certificate in Working Effectively with Deafblind Manual (DM) successful candidates can go on to study:

  • Signature Level 6 Certificate in Working Effectively with Visual Frame Hands On Signers (VFHO)
  • Level 6 Certificate in Working Effectively with Deafblind Manual and Visual Frame and Hands On Signers

A range of professional qualifications and other qualifications at Levels 6 are also available.

Qualification aim

The aim of the qualification is to enable learners to use knowledge and skills already obtained in previous qualifications and through experience, to be able to work effectively, interpreting for deafblind people who use VFHO. Working in a variety of everyday settings including: conversations, socialising, educational, personal and employment (Access to Work).

Qualification objectives

This qualification will provide learners with both the technical skills and strategies to be able to communicate with and interpret effectively for users of VFHO as well as the knowledge and skills involved with making language accessible to deafblind people. This will include and further develop understanding of ways to make language and information accessible while maintaining meaning and an awareness of the use of additional communication methods to convey this meaning.

Qualification structure

The qualification is divided into two units each of which will be assessed separately. Although assessments can be taken straight after each unit has been taught, Signature suggests that all assessments are best taken at the end of the course when all teaching is complete.

Unit QAN unit number Unit title Assessment
VFHO602 J/507/6063 Using Visual Frame and Hands On Signing Portfolio
MOD603 R/507/5949 Modifying Language for Deafblind People Portfolio

Guided Learning Hours

The certificate has a credit value of 14 and 140 hours of learning time in total. The recommended guided learning hours is 100 in total as shown in the table below. The guided learning hours of 100 is the time the learner is timetabled for face to face contact with the centre and should include:

  • Classroom based teaching
  • Individual or group tutorials
  • Feedback or observed practice
Unit Guided Learning Hours (GLH) Additional study hours Total learning hours Credit value
VFHO602 60 20 80 8
MOD603 40 20 60 6
Total 100 40 140 14

Guided learning hours include assessment time.

Additional study hours include private study, homework, practice, etc.

Signature approved centres will deliver this qualification over agreed timescales.

Essential requirements

In order to be entered for this course leading to this qualification, learners must be able to demonstrate competence at DBG Level 2 and Level 3 VFHO or equivalent. It is the responsibility of the centre to ensure these requirements have been met before accepting a learner on the course. Learners should be assessed at their induction for the skills required.

Progression routes

On completion of the qualification, the learners may wish to progress to the following qualifications:

  • Level 6 Certificate in Working Effectively with Deafblind Manual
  • Level 6 Certificate in Working Effectively with Deafblind Manual and Visual Frame and Hands On Signers

Qualification aim

The aim of the qualification is to enable learners to use knowledge and skills already obtained from previous qualifications and through experience, to be able to work effectively, interpreting for deafblind people who use Deafblind Manual and Visual Frame and Hands On. Working in a variety of everyday settings including: conversations, socialising, educational, personal, employment (Access to Work).

Qualification objectives

This qualification will provide learners with both the technical skills and strategies to be able to communicate with and interpret effectively for users of Deafblind Manual and Visual Frame and Hands on as well as the knowledge and skills involved with making language accessible to deafblind people. This will include and further develop understanding of ways to make the language and information accessible while maintaining meaning and an awareness of the use of additional communication methods to convey this meaning.

Qualification structure

The qualification is divided into two units each of which will be assessed separately. Although assessments can be taken straight after each unit has been taught, Signature suggests that all assessments are best taken at the end of the course when all teaching is complete.

Unit QAN unit number Unit title Assessment
DM601 L/507/5948 Producing and Receiving Deafblind Manual Portfolio
VFHO602 J/507/6063 Using Visual Frame and Hands On Signing Portfolio
MOD603 R/507/5949 Modifying Language for Deafblind People Portfolio

Guided Learning Hours

The certificate has a credit value of 22 and 220 hours of learning time in total. The recommended guided learning hours is 100 in total as shown in the table below. The guided learning hours of 160 is the time the learner is timetabled for face to face contact with the centre and should include:

  • Classroom based teaching
  • Individual or group tutorials
  • Feedback or observed practice
Unit Guided Learning Hours (GLH) Additional study hours Total learning hours Credit value
DM601 60 20 80 8
VFHO602 60 20 80 6
MOD603 40 20 60 6
Total 160 60 220 22

Guided learning hours include assessment time.

Additional study hours include private study, homework, practice, etc.

Signature approved centres will deliver this qualification over agreed timescales.

Essential requirements

In order to be entered for this course leading to this qualification, learners must be able to demonstrate competence at Level 3 Deafblind Manual and Visual Frame and Hands On, or equivalent. It is the responsibility of the centre to ensure these requirements have been met before accepting a learner on the course. Learners should be assessed at their induction for the skills required.

Progression routes

A range of professional qualifications and other qualifications at Levels 6 are available for candidates