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'Inspiration' Dan teaches sign language to improve communication with deaf customers

July 12, 2021 00:01pm
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Inspirational Asda colleague Dan Chown – who's been deaf since the age of two – has been running sign language classes to help more people at our Sutton store communicate better with him and customers who are hard of hearing.

Dan Chown from Asda Sutton teaches sign language

Forty-one-year-old Dan ran the course with his wife Lynsey, who's also deaf.

He said: "The idea of the workshop was not just to teach sign, but to be aware of our needs. I believe that sign language and awareness should be taught from an early age.

"I've always been treated as an equal at work despite the challenges we have in communication, and we have overcome them. I love working with all the guys here. I don't see them as colleagues, but as friends."

Dan, who works in our cash office, says he appreciates all the help he gets from the team at Asda Sutton.

He said: "A lot of them have helped me with making phone calls which I will always appreciate, so I thank them all."

Dan Chown is teaching sign language at Asda Sutton

Service section leader Michelle Ryall, who nominated Dan for a service superstar award, said: "Dan is such an inspiration. He is such a lovely guy and will do anything for anyone.

"I asked Dan if he would be interested in doing a sign language workshop for our colleagues to help raise awareness.

"Not only did Dan kindly agree to do this but he went above and beyond anything I had expected. Dan and his wife Lynsey ran two 45-minute workshops for us with five colleagues in each – unfortunately due to social distancing this was the maximum we could allow – and there were also many names on the reserve list.

"They made a workbook for each of us with lots of information and basic sign language. We then learned sign language that would be most used with our customers and colleagues.

"Each colleague has said what an amazing time they had, and that not only was it informative but also so much fun."

Dan, who's worked at the store for 15 years, is now hoping to run similar workshops for colleagues at other Asda stores in the area.

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