Calling all Sign Language Teachers – your support is needed

A new Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) will be published this autumn by the Council of Europe. We would like to have sign languages included in this new edition of the CEFR! We have already done the required works here at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in Winterthur. We have gathered all necessary data empirically during the last 2 years (data = descriptors for language competences in sign language).

For information on this in International Sign please follow this link:

Aim: Calibration of descriptors
The final aim now (in September 17) is that as many sign language (SL) teachers as possible participate in calibrating (=judging) these descriptors. This is necessary for the statistical validation. Without such a calibration, sign languages will not be not included in the new CEFR.

We face a problem however: we don’t know a sufficient number of sign language teachers in Europe (or elsewhere). Therefore, we are looking for SL teachers who are willing to participate (regardless of which country they are from).

For every participant, we need a name with an e-mail as point of contact. We will then send an e-mail to the person giving them access to the survey data with videos showing the descriptors in sign language. The survey is anonymous. The descriptors are available in International Sign and Swiss-German Sign Language.

If you yourself are willing to participate simply send an e-mail to Aline: She collects the mail-addresses for the survey.
· If you know other sign language instructors, please forward this e-mail to them or send us the contact list (do as you prefer).

The survey takes place in September and must finish early October, so the time is rather tight…
We believe we can take the reins and aim for equality of signed and spoken languages now.

This is a unique chance that spoken languages and sign languages are treated equally in an international standard. This promotes the political recognition of sign languages in all European
countries and creates the basis for the profession “sign language teacher”. We must not wait for our children to do it…

Best regards
Dawei Ni, Patty Shores, Jörg Keller, Aline Meili, Petrea Bürgin and Sandra Sidler-Miserez

Aline Meili

CEFR for Sign Languages Project
Zurich University of Applied Sciences
School of Applied Linguistics
LCC Language Competence Centre
Theaterstr. 17
P.O. Box
CH-8401 Winterthur

DeafATW survey about the ATW cap is now ready.

The DeafATW survey about the ATW cap is ready now. Survey link below:

Click here for information about the survey in BSL.

The DeafATW survey for people with ATW who have or will have capped budgets (in April 2018) is now ready.

Please can you share with anyone you know who has or will have a capped ATW budget, and share with networks and organisations so that as many people see this as possible.

If you have or will have a capped ATW budget, please fill in the survey.

The survey is for people who have:

• An ATW award AND
• Are capped already OR will be capped April 2018 AND
• Live in England, Wales or Scotland (not NI).

The survey is in BSL & English. To answer in BSL, contact:

The survey closes Friday 22nd September 2017.

Survey link:

The survey will help DeafATW and the UKCoD Employment Group better campaign about the cap.
More information about the ATW cap:

Click here for information about the cap in BSL:

ATW budgets have been capped since 1st October 2015. The cap means that there is a maximum budget that ATW will give you, even if you need a larger budget to pay for your communication support.

The cap is worked out by using the national average salary (published by the Office for National Statistics in October each year), which usually changes every year.

The cap to ATW awards / budgets is currently one and a half times the national average salary.

What cap you have to your award will depend on what year you applied for ATW, or what year your ATW was reviewed.

If your ATW award started or was reviewed between / The annual cap (limit) for the ATW budget is:

1st October 2015 to 31st March 2016 – £40,800
1st April 2016 to 31st March 2017 – £41,400
1st April 2017 to 31st March 2018 – £42,100

If you had an ATW award before the cap started1st October 2015, then it will not be capped until 1st April 2018.