A Deaf student from York is making his mark in the car industry

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SPRAYING cars for a living has turned from a dream to reality for a 19 year old Deaf student from York.

Joseph Brown, a residential student at Communication Specialist College Doncaster (CSCD), part of Doncaster Deaf Trust, has secured his first paid employment doing a job he loves.

Currently on a supported internship, Joseph, from Boroughbridge, will take up his paid post on completion of his course in July.

He said; “I’m really very happy to have been offered a job at James Wood Auto. I started at Communication Specialist College four years ago after studying at a mainstream school in York.

“I came to Doncaster as a residential student because they teach sign language and have Deaf teachers. At school I was the only Deaf pupil and had to have an interpreter with me for support. At CSCD I was in the Deaf world for the first time, before starting at college I didn’t really know about Deaf culture. My dad is Deaf but I hadn’t really experienced anything like this before. It was good.”

Joseph studied car body and spraying in his first two years at CSCD and in his third year he concentrated on spraying.

He said: “Andy my tutor organised for me to do car spraying and I found it really interesting and quickly realised that this was an area I wanted to work in. The work experience team at CSCD organised for me to do some work experience with Sandall Car Care, a car repair and maintenance company in Doncaster. I was a bit nervous when I started in September 2015 but had support from college.”

Joseph completed work experience in Doncaster working one day a week for the full academic year and was so successful in his placement that they invited him back for three months at the start of this academic year.

“They were a good company to work with and we managed to find different ways to communicate so that I knew what was expected of me,” said Joseph.

Joseph wanted to get work experience closer to home with a view to finding a job when he finished and the team at the college set about helping him.

Colin Tidmarsh from CSCD said: “We rang round lots of places near to Joseph’s home with a view to getting him a work placement but weren’t having any luck. Joseph and his mum went into James Wood Automotive Refinishers Ltd at Knaresborough and asked them about the possibility of a placement. We then worked with James Wood Auto to provide the support needed to set the placement up and Joseph has never looked back!

“He is such a proactive individual and has worked hard through college to ensure that his deafness has not held him back in anyway. We visit our students at their places of work when they are on work experience and grade them on various activities. Joseph got ten out of ten on everything. We are thrilled that he has been offered a full time paid job and wish him lots of luck.”

While at work Joseph has been teaching the team some basic signs and they use pads and pens and a white board to communicate.

He said: “I feel really comfortable at James Wood Auto and am happy with the methods we’ve worked out to communicate it is a really good place to work.”

James Wood Automotive Refinishers Ltd repair and paint modern day vehicles as well as performance, prestige and classic vehicles.

James Wood, owner of James Wood Automotive Refinishers Ltd, said: “I’ve been really impressed with Joseph. Having dealt with apprentices before and people on work experience I know how much hard work it can be but Joseph has come here and really set his mind to what he is doing. He is studying both practical and theory so has a great understanding about the job.

“He follows instructions really well and questions if he is not sure about something. The great thing is that we’ve all learned a few signs from him and it is helping us to communicate if lip reading doesn’t work and I’m sure we’ll pick up more and more sign language as time goes on.

“Joseph is working on a wide range of repair and refinish processes. He is also dealing with insurances companies, new vehicle dealerships, independent garages, traders, specialists, classic specialists and of course the general public.

“Joseph is a real asset to the team and we are glad that we made that initial decision to take him on work experience.”

For further information about Communication Specialist College Doncaster visit www.deaf-trust.co.uk/college