Who are we?

BSL College is a reputable training organisation, renowned for offering highly successful courses to the public.  We train either at your establishment or at a mutually agreed venue.  We have a team of several teachers and assessors, all of whom are highly qualified and experienced. We have worked with hundreds of students since our inception in 2008.  We see our aim as imparting real understanding of British Sign Language and Deaf Culture to our students in order to facilitate comfortable and symbiotic future working relationships with Deaf employees or students. We aim to achieve competence at any level of BSL training using varying methods to accommodate all learning styles. Most importantly, we hope that our students, be they individual or corporate, end up feeling inspired by this unique and fast-growing language.

We run many courses so please click on WHAT YOU GET for an outline of the courses we offer.

Our team members are:

Yvonne Cobb

Yvonne is the Director and founder of the College. Profoundly Deaf, she is a qualified teacher (PGCE) and Assessor (A1).  She is known as an effervescent and energising BSL teacher who has taught for over 15 years. She was the winner of the Signature 2011 South West of England Teacher of the Year Award for outstanding BSL teaching. Signature commended Yvonne by saying that she inspires learners with her calm, approachable and fun personality, using humour to make classes interesting.  She previously worked as an HR Assistant for Harrods Ltd, and as a Training Manager for a Deaf charity.  Incidentally, in the past she once worked on a fish farm, catching fish!  Yvonne has also been featured on several TV programmes, including BBC1’s Changing Rooms and on Channel 4 for a programme featuring Deaf poetry.

Yvonne is seen as a youthful, inspirational woman with a vision to build a vibrant sign language-using community in Gloucestershire.  Yvonne has many positive traits, among them, strong commitment and perseverance to see things through. She is highly creative and her natural abilities in art and craft are reflected in her teaching methods.  She is welcoming and equitable with all her students, which ensures they achieve the best results possible. Her main values are preserving the traditional community and focusing on enterprise skills, which are reflected through BSL College’s training services.

She is experienced in Personal Development, Yoga, ICT, Mentoring and, of course, British Sign Language.  She is also a busy Mum and enjoys running, yoga and craft work including pottery and crochet.

Reg Cobb

Reg is profoundly Deaf with fluent BSL skills as well as excellent spoken English. He is well known for his great sense of humour and is fondly referred to as the ‘King of Laughter’ by his many students who have enjoyed his relaxed yet thorough style of teaching over the years. Research tells us that learning in a non-pressurised, fun, environment leads to a much higher level of achievement, and Reg’s students attain lofty qualifications time and time again. A sample of the feedback we have recently received about Reg’s teaching was: “It is the best course I have ever been on!”  His Deaf Awareness Training (link to deaf awareness course page) sessions regularly receive similar accolades. He has extensive experience teaching Deaf Awareness as well as in-depth knowledge of the workings of the Deaf community and its politics and so also provides highly sought-after Deaf consultancy work.  In this capacity, Reg has regularly worked with Central Government departments, blue chip companies and for many years, a large college in London where he managed the support services, including teaching and tutorials.  He brings fun and in-depth knowledge to our team. We all, including the students, love him!

A busy Dad, Reg enjoys cycling and doing all outdoor activities, as well as a spot of DIY!

Sarah Smith

Sarah joined the vibrant assessment team in 2009, offering years of teaching and assessing experience in British Sign Language.  She is Deaf, a qualified Teacher, Assessor, Internal Verifier and a Qualified Mentor.  She gives valuable, constructive feedback to the candidates and to the assessment team, and has in-depth knowledge of sign language itself.  She thoroughly enjoys relaying thought-provoking information about sign language, and has a holistic approach that accommodates any learner.

She has recently discovered the wonders of genealogy and has discovered that her family is from Cornwall despite being born and bred in Wales.

Fiona Nicholson

Fiona who is Deaf, started her career as a relief teacher in British Sign Language in 1996, and has developed to become a highly qualified and respected teacher, assessor and verifier.  She recently achieved her Registered Sign Language Translator (RSLT) qualification and is often seen translating on S4C (Welsh TV channel) and BBC programmes.  One of Fiona’s strengths is the care and dedication she shows to her candidates, which has a profound effect on them.  She goes out of her way to support others, including the team.

Fiona is a dog lover and enjoys outdoor pursuits such as walking.  She says that it is a pleasure to see a local company set-up as a British Sign Language provider and feels it is a great privilege to join our team and assist BSL College in its growth.