LILA* Liverpool leading the way for CELTA and teacher training
LILA*'s main CELTA tutor, Jim Pearson, writes about his experience of a blind student joining the CELTA course at LILA* Liverpool in 2017.
In early 2017 I was contacted by someone wanting to do the CELTA course with us here at LILA*. Nothing out of the ordinary about that, I get lots of enquiries and applications for the CELTA course, but this application was just a little different. Under the section that asks about any medical conditions that could impact the candidate’s ability to do the course, it was written: I am completely blind. I’ll be honest here; my initial reaction was to wonder how a completely blind person could manage to be a teacher and to complete a rigorous and intensive teacher training programme.
As it transpired, any concerns that I had were purely down to ignorance on my behalf. We met a couple of times prior to the start of the course, I put forward any concerns I had, the candidate did the same and between us we put an action plan together and in March that year, he took the course and comfortably passed. He is now a fully-fledged working teacher who has put in for a Master’s Degree to further his skill set.
Since completing the course I have written about my experience helping to accommodate Adam and this has been published on the CELTA trainer and providers’ website. I am now contacted on average once a month by candidates with specific needs and by providers who have been contacted by such candidates. On May 17th this year I have been booked in to speak at the University of Central Lancashire’s Super-size Your Cert. CPD event to present my findings and dispel the concerns that providers and potential candidates may have. The same concerns that proved to be unfounded that Adam and I shared when he first contacted me.
By no means do I consider myself an expert, and the advice I always offer to those who contact me is that the expert is the applicant with the specific needs. I am, however, proud to be given the opportunity to share my personal experiences at the upcoming event and hope that in doing so, I can help to accommodate more people with specific needs and put aside some of the fears and concerns providers may have.
For full access to the report, follow this link: Accommodating a blind CELTA candidate