Scottish opticians and audiologists complete BSL training

Opticians and audiologists across Scotland have completed British Sign Language (BSL) training. Colleagues at 31 Specsavers stores across the country have undertaken training to ensure they are able to communicate with any customers who use BSL sign language.

Arlene Stephenson, Specsavers’ Scottish chair, says: ‘Looking after our customers and making them feel comfortable is our main priority. This new training will equip our staff with the knowledge to better support and communicate with customers who have hearing loss and use BSL.

‘Our teams are always looking for opportunities to undertake additional training to ensure we better understand the needs of our customers. This training follows many of our staff across Scotland undertaking Dementia Friends training to ensure customers with dementia feel safe and are looked after in a sensitive way.’

Rebekah McKinstry, Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) communications manager, says: ‘We’re really pleased that Specsavers staff in Scotland have completed BSL training to make their stores more accessible to Deaf customers.

‘Learning a bit of BSL makes a big difference in making customers feel welcome, and we encourage all businesses to consider learning BSL from a qualified teacher and undertaking deaf awareness training to make their business as inclusive as possible.’

Glasgow Clyde College, which delivered the bespoke course, were delighted to work with Specsavers. Lorna McIntyre, BSL lecturer at Glasgow Clyde College, praised the enthusiasm and ability of the Specsavers team.

She added: ‘Our Deaf teachers offer not just engaging British Sign Language lessons, they also provide the most valuable, cultural and linguistic perspective as first language BSL users. ‘It was a pleasure working with staff from Specsavers as part of their introduction to BSL – the lecturers received some really positive feedback following the completion of their course.’


Some more information on the initiative

Is this available for England/Ireland/Wales? 

Yes, we do provide similar services in the UK. Whilst we don’t have an interpreter in store, we provide various alternatives to make your store experience great.

If this isn’t available in my country, can I bring a friend to interpret for me?

Absolutely, you can bring along your friend to interpret for you. We look forward to seeing you both.

Will all stores in Scotland have a trained BSL employee?

To find out if your local store provides this service, give them a call and they can give you all the information needed. If you are struggling to contact the store, pop us a message on social media and we can look into it for you.

Why are you catering to a fraction of the population?

We are a national healthcare provider and are accessible for all. We want to make everyone who comes into our stores feel comfortable.

Watch film