Family Learning Award Winners - The Goodall Family
In August 2011, at the age of 2, Caleb was diagnosed as profoundly deaf. 'He was born hearing, so until this point we had only ever spoken to him in English with mininmal response,' says his mother Lianne. Upon hearing the diagnosis, Lianne realised that they needed to learn sign language as a family and so with her father David and mother Carol, they set about doing just that.
'Our local adult learning centre was offering classes so we enrolled,' says Caleb's grandfather David. 'We were fortunate enough that this course was offered free of charge and commenced the following month. We really enjoyed the class and the benefits were instantly apparent as we knew we'd soon be able to communicate better and pass the language onto Caleb.'
'I was impressed by their dedication as a family,' says the family's tutor, Angela Horder of Torfaen Adult Education Service. 'For hearing parents to find out that their child is deaf must be major blow, but the Goodalls have faced this head on, taking the initiative to learn a difficult language due to the love of their child. They are truly a joy to teach. I am sure that as he grows. Caleb will be grateful for such love and support from his family.'
Due to their learning, the Goodalls have grown closer as a family. 'This course has changed our lives,' says David. 'It has been a truly positive experience that we are very grateful for.'