Employees at Ipswich Building Society sign-up for sign language training

Ipswich Building Society employees who took part in a course to learn the basics of sign language

Ipswich Building Society employees who took part in a course to learn the basics of sign language - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Building Society is encouraging its staff to learn sign language in a move to enhance its face-to-face customer service capabilities.

Nine employees recently took part in a total of ten hours’ training, during which they were taught the basics of British Sign Language for the purpose of customer interactions and everyday use.

The taster course was managed by Eileen Murphy of Sensing Change, a social work practice which provides a range of services including rehabilitation, support and communication to people with sight and hearing impairments. She tailored the course to replicate typical day-to-day customer interactions at the society, with the staff also learning how to sign the alphabet and numbers, and to use sign language to introduce themselves.

Eileen Murphy said: “The group were enthusiastic and keen to learn basic sign language and banking vocabulary signs. I have since received feedback from a deaf customer at Ipswich Building Society, expressing how pleased she was by the positive attitude that counter staff have towards deaf customers.”

Richard Norrington, chief executive at Ipswich Building Society, said: “We are committed to serving members in our local community and are always seeking opportunities to enhance our in-branch experience.

“We are pleased to have had a number of staff participate in a tailored British Sign Language course to improve our communication skills , helping us to address the needs of a wider group of members and ensure they fully understand our products and services.

“We are confident that our learnings will help us continue to enhance our valued face-to-face service.”