Written by Ben Leach
Meet Simon, our British Sign Language Translator, translating content into British Sign Language for HeX and our clients.
Simon is HeX’s BSL Translator, responsible for translating content into British Sign Language (BSL) and providing awareness for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. Simon is Deaf himself, and has a background in teaching Sign Language. He’ll be making ours, and our clients’ websites accessible to those who use BSL. Away from work, Simon loves to ski and is also a keen photographer. But, if he could be anywhere he’d take a break from the rush of the world in The Maldives.
Tell us about yourself and how you got to where you are now…
James, Zara, Tom and Ben were my students for BSL (British Sign Language) at Nottinghamshire Deaf Society. They were hard work! Just kidding, they were absolutely awesome students of mine, we got on really well and had some laughs. Zara then suggested I should work with them, so… here I am!
What does your average day consist of (At HeX)?
I translate HeX presentations into BSL for video in order to make them accessible for deaf people. I sign very well but translating is new to me so it is quite challenging, including learning new words, structure and grammar, but I love it. The job will be really interesting learning videoing, editing and green screen. I also enjoy teasing Ben and James (a Nottingham Forest FC supporter!!)
What’s the favourite part of your job (At HeX)?
When I was in college and university I really enjoyed doing photography and computer work with Photoshop. I have always dreamed of getting a job using those skills and now I’m working with a team doing graphic design, website design and also campaigning for accessibility which I am very keen on.
Who do you admire?
The team at HeX! Especially Zara and James for giving me the opportunity to work with them. They are lovely people with open minds and are great supporting accessibility for the online world.
Famous people I admire are Leonardo Da Vinci, Bill Gates and Steve Job.
Leonardo was many things: a painter, an architect, a biologist, an engineer, a theatrical producer and inventor. Many ideas, such as the tank and the helicopter, that featured in his sketchbook became reality 400 years later. He invented many more things including scissors!
Bill Gates and Steve Job – a revolution that has helped shape the technology world for the next two decades making life easier and especially useful for accessibility. In a 2015 TED talk Bill Gates was already warning the world about viruses before outbreak covid 19.
What is something few people know about you?
I’m a photographer specialising in weddings and events.
I love skiing – I love the speed and freedom with the beautiful view of the mountains followed by warm cosy drinks with people in the evening.
I have two children who can both sign which is a beautiful thing for communication.
I have had motorbikes since I was 16, although children keep me in a car for now, but I would love to buy a Harley Davidson…one day hopefully!
What toppings would you choose on a pizza?
Almost anything. Black olives are a must have, but seafood or pineapple on a pizza is a big no no!
What are your top three pet peeves?
Bad road manners… pedestrians or drivers who don’t say thank you when I let them cross the road or give way to them when I am driving.
Unmotivated people! People who are ‘fit to work’ with no barriers, but have no motivation to work or attempt to!
Finally, lack of deaf awareness – especially being left out of conversation with hearing people. I always try to include hearing people into a deaf group and expect the same consideration.
If you could be anywhere, where would you be?
The Maldives for a break from the rush of the world, but I love to explore different cultures and foods so anywhere really!
If you never try you will never know.