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October 22, 2003

Pub chef is a signing example

From: The Publican, UK - Oct 22, 2003

Successful pub chef Paul Maxwell has been telling the public about how he copes with working in a busy kitchen - and being profoundly deaf.

As part of the British Deaf Association's (BDA) learn to sign week, 20-year-old Paul told how other staff learning to sign made things easier for him.

Paul is chef at Korks, a wine bar in Otley in Yorkshire, and is also studying at Bradford College. He relies on signing to communicate and so many of the bar's other staff have learned the basics of sign language.

With the deadline for the Disability Discrimination Act now less than a year away, the BDA is keen to encourage pub staff to learn to sign.

"Paul is a fantastic example of how a deaf person can succeed and how his colleagues can benefit as well by learning sign language," said BDA chief executive Jeff McWhinney.

"If everyone in the UK was able to sign to a basic level it would be an extremely positive step towards a more inclusive society."

Paul agreed. "It makes life a lot easier with the staff here learning a few signs and I've settled in well," he signed.

"I've always wanted to be a chef and am thoroughly enjoying my job."

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