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How to work with a CSW

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To ensure the best working relationship for both the deaf person and the mainstream organisation/setting, below are some tips and guidance on how to effectively work with Communication Support Workers (CSWs).

A CSW will:
  • Always ensure the speaker speaks directly to the deaf person, not to the CSW.
  • The CSW is always neutral. They are not allowed to give advice or offer opinions. They will not take sides in any situation.
  • CSWs work within a strict professional code of practice. Everything that is discussed will be kept confidential, unless there is a question of risk.
  • The CSW will communicate everything that is said or signed. This includes audible asides. However, it is impossible for the CSW to interpret when more than one person is speaking, so they may ask for silence if the need arises.
  • CSWs will adjust their working environment to ensure the seating and lighting is best suited to the deaf person’s needs.
  • The CSW will encourage the peer group to include the deaf student.
  • The CSW will ask for preparation time and background materials, in order to do the best job they can.

A CSW will not:

  • Teach the student their course material.
  • Do the student’s work for them.
  • Join in any class work by making up the numbers.
  • Make excuses for the student e.g. for being late or no homework.
  • Give lifts to the students.
  • Lend money to the student even if it’s for food or drink.
  • Lend the student stationary e.g. pens, paper, stapler etc.

If you have any questions or would like further advice and guidance on working with CSWs, please contact the CSW Manager, by telephoning 01392 267023 or emailing cswmanager@exeterdeafacademy.ac.uk