Kind words for Debra

Kind words for Debra
20th August 2015 No Comments BSL News Annette Butler

Our Managing Director Debra was recently nominated for “POSITIVE ROLE MODEL AWARD” for the National Diversity Awards.

Debra was touched by some of the most heart warming nominations from people  that she has worked with during the past 10 years.

Here is a few of the nominations.

I have known Debra since 2008, when I undertook a voluntary work placement at The School Of Sign Language. She is a thoughtful, supportive person who I feel lucky to know. She’s also a devoted mother, dedicated business woman and a trusted friend. Debra works so hard to raise deaf awareness and has given many people, including myself, the opportunity to learn sign language and gain a valuable understanding of the issues that hearing-impaired people deal with on a daily basis. She is an inspiring role model, promoting equality and diversity with an enthusiastic energy that is admirable.

One of the nicest people I have the pleasure of knowing. No matter what life throws at Debbie, she still manages to smile and stay positive, always putting other people before herself. An amazing mother, friend, business woman and overall wonderful person, there’s not a single bad thing I could say about her. She definitely deserves this award.

Having worked with Debra, in both business development and mentoring roles I have been singularly impressed with her knowledge, skills, professionalism and undoubted passion about the work she does. This is in connection with her management of the School of Sign Language, the development and launch of Primary Sign and the interpreting and communication support services provided. A working mum with a handful of twins! she is an undoubted role model for both women in work and for those dealing with a disability such as hearing impairment. She is caring, funny and committed to what she does and this quickly translates to those she works with, manages, or partners on new ideas and ventures. I have worked with Debra on a one-to-one basis, in teams, developing strategy and under pressure with production deadlines. At all times I have found her focused and committed to the task in hand. She is very supportive of those she works with and is quick to offer help where needed. As a director of a social enterprise committed to helping people from disadvantaged communities access work Debra has proved time and again to be a resource that we can turn to when needing specialist help and advice. I have no hesitation in supporting Debra’s nomination for the positive role model award – disability.

I have been working with Debra and her team for around 6 months now as one of my employees is profoundly deaf. Apart from offering on site support each week for me to communicate important things for which only an interpreter can assist, a number of employees have had and are currently having basic sign language lessons. Debra is such a nice woman. Very friendly and we often talk about non-work related activities. The education that I and my staff and co-workers have had towards those that are deaf has been eye-opening to say the least. We are now able to communicate on a simple level with my team member who is hard of hearing whereas prior to this he was isolated in his job. I would urge everyone to learn some level of sign language but unfortunately there are not enough people in the UK to teach it. This is why the work and foundation that Debra has set up is important. Her work should be recognised.

I have known Debra Keyser for the last three years. In that time I have found her to be a very professional, determined and knowledgeable person who is extremely committed to the needs of her clients. She has excellent leadership qualities and good interpersonal skills.

The challenges this woman has gone through in his life no will understand. She stills go round thinking the best of everyone and with a smile on her face. She always put everyone first and especially with starting this business and the everyday work, everyone is out first to ensure they have the best possible experience. She has turned into a leader which children should look up and admire what she has done. With the tough time at school etc this will in no way help her confidence so I think it what she has done should be admired. There are alot of people who might have tried what she has done but rarely a by of them would have succeeded like she has and is going from pillar to post getting stronger at every moment.

Debra is very passionate about her work. She gives 100% to her working life , whilst juggling a family life and is the most perfect mother , wife and sister. I am very proud of what is has achieved throughout her life and this deserves to be recognised.

A total inspiration. I’m a hearing, student teacher qualifying next year and through her inspiration, I believe, and will teach British sign language through the curriculum. Disability should be promoted as positive.

I have known Debra for many years as a very close friend. She is a real inspiration to friends and acquaintances and I admire her very much. I feel Debra should be nominated and is deserving of this award.

I nominate this person because she strives to put Deaf people first by ensuring they have support to achieve what they want from life and wherever possible, she recruits Deaf people, providing them with work opportunities. She recognises that Deaf professionals are often role models for other Deaf people who may have low self esteem arising from poor upbringing or from experiencing negative and discriminatory attitudes. She also carries out valuable work which aims to reduce people’s negative perceptions and discrimination towards Deaf people. She is passionate about breaking down the barriers Deaf people face everyday by educating organisations, professionals and children. Children will grow up to be employers in the future and thanks to her work, they will hopefully be fully aware of Deaf people’s needs and display positive attitudes towards them therefore creating more accessible places. I am pleased to be working with her and being involved in such rewarding work.

Debra in an inspirational woman and she works really hard. She is passionate about her business and loyal to all she helps

Debra has been supporting me in school. I am Deaf and use sign language as my preferred form of communication. Debra is a good role model for Deaf people like me as I now feel I can be successful in my life even though I am Deaf.

Debra is an inspiration. She makes time to run successful businesses and has a busy family life. This alone is an achievement despite her hearing disability. She is very passionate about improving life and accessibilty for people suffering from hearing loss and her energy levels know no bounds. She has used her disability to promote understanding and acceptance for thousands and continues to push forward with training for others. We know Debra in a professional capacity through her education work.

Debra deserves this award because of all the barriers that she has overcome and for everything that she has achieved. I have known Debra for years and growing up she inspired me to learn British Sign Language, so I am now working with deaf college students. Debra is always there when I need advice and I am very proud to know her.

An excellent hard working role model advocating for the deaf community


As a hearing impaired person Debra has an acute understanding of the challenges faced by individuals within a working environment. Her personal approach to supporting those with impairments is outstanding and although challenging at times, shows true resilience to ensure a positive outcome. We are very fortunate to have her support within our team.

Debra has worked closely with my profoundly deaf son for the past year. He had given up on things, especially getting a job. He had no self esteem and was frustrated. Debra has advocated for him, found him a volunteering position, and he now has a part time position with them. He is a totally different person. She has supported and helped him more than anyone else has. She is a diamond.

I first met Debbie about 7 years ago when her company was contracted to assist a colleague who is profoundly deaf.Over the years I have got to know her well and value her assistance along with that of members of her team. She has proved to be invaluable in communicating and has educated myself and others willingly to understand the problems people face when they cannot hear. Debbie and her team have also organised deaf awareness session which some delegates resented at first but later described as the most enjoyable course they had ever been sent on. We now look forward to seeing her each week.

Debra is truly inspirational. She is a forward thinker who is one step ahead of a lot of people who are delivering services for deaf people or those who work with deaf people. She has managed to harness new technology with tried and true teaching methods that is Primary Sign, and made sign language accessible to generations of children. She has shown that British Sign can be used within schools and has created strong lasting ties within school communities. How many leaders do you see in the wider business community that are deaf? Debra has shown us that it is possible.

Unbelievably approachable and has a heart of gold. Will do anything (even to her detriment) to help others.

Debra is a true inspiration for women in business. Her disability has changed into her ability, developing other deaf people to become tutors and work together towards breaking down the barriers.

I know I have only been on the course a short period of time, but it has shown me that it is really difficult when you can’t hear and you have to adapt to a new way of life and everything must be a real struggle trying to communicate with other people. People who can hear don’t really appreciate what it must be like for people who have hearing problems as we all take our hearing for granted. The course is excellent and I am really enjoying it.

I think Debra is a fantastic teacher who really brings it across of how to learn sign language, so enabling me to communicate with a deaf person. I work with a deaf person and having taken the course Debra has shown me how easy it is to talk and laugh and joke with a deaf person. I will always be very grateful to her and I wish her all the best for her future.

I am a student of Debra’s and have found the course fun and very informative. without Debra’s hard work and determination all of the below would not be possible.

Working in a very large company in Manchester is a benefit as we are given a lot of opportunities. In our team we have an employee who is deaf and in order for us to communicate with him we needed help. Debbie came to the rescue which has been fantastic and learnt us so much within the past few months. We can now communicate with our employee and he looks much happier that he can now sign to us all 🙂 Thank you Debbie for all your hard work with us and support throughout the 12 weeks of the course.

I have recently completed a foundation level 1 course with Debra and her company which helped me not only learn some of the basics of BSL, but also helped me appreciate some of the difficulties that a deaf person faces. I didn’t realise that she was hard of hearing/partially deaf when I first met her and to think what her company offers, not only helps deaf people in the workplace but must also reassure the employers. She bring enthusiasm and passion to what she does and everyone needs a role model like that!

Debra’s work to raise the awareness of the challenges faced by deaf people everyday can simply not be understated. This lady deserves this award!!

Debra is very amazing person. Very understanding with people’s needs. I am deaf myself. She is very fantastic role model to everyone. She loves her job and helping deaf people to making life easier.

About The Author

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *