Latest News | 8 March 2023

College course helps Donna break down barriers

Share this post:

An employee at an online retail giant has spoken about how learning sign language at Derby College Group has helped make a huge difference to her and her colleagues.

Donna Burton, who works as a process guide at Amazon’s Kegworth fulfilment centre, decided to learn British Sign Language (BSL) so she could communicate more easily with deaf colleagues at work.

She decided to enrol on the college course, despite being 55 and having Tourette’s.

She said: “I used to worry that one of my colleagues in particular might think we were laughing at him as he couldn’t hear us when we were having a joke.

“I have Tourette’s, which can cause me to tic when I’m nervous, so I know how it feels to think that everyone’s looking at you.

“Going to college at 55, and with my condition, might have made me nervous and made my tics worse, but everyone at college has been so welcoming and friendly.

“When I went to enrol, I was greeted with a warm smile from the lovely person on reception, which immediately put me at my ease.”

Since then, Donna has become an Amazon Ambassador for British Sign Language, the first within the whole of Amazon UK.

She is currently using BSL to help make communication easier between 10 hearing-impaired team members and their managers.

Donna said: “What started out as me learning something for myself has led to my employer carving out full-time interpreter roles.

“I’m proud to be an Amazon ambassador. I’m just a normal person and hopefully my story will inspire others who want to make a difference but might feel scared of standing out.”

Related Articles...

This will close in 0 seconds