Twenty two year old Jarrod Brown is showing that it does not matter what curve balls life throws at you, there is a way to rise above and achieve your dreams. Jarrod is a second year plumbing apprentice, which may not seem like a challenge, for people who can hear.
Born without his hearing, Jarrod was taught sign language by his mum who had learnt it learnt it and so that she could communicate with her son.
“I started teaching sign language and assisting people in their homes. It wasn’t until an elderly lady needed some assistance around the house fixing and checking things that someone asked if I wanted to do work experience as a plumber – so I thought why not,” says Jarrod Brown.
“I enjoyed the work and it was engaging, so I decided to take up plumbing and do an apprenticeship. I feel a connection to water as a person, I feel comfortable with water, which is why I enjoy the trade. To me it’s also like a game – there are pipes going different directions and I have to work out where the water goes, I like the challenges and the problem-solving.”
Despite not having his hearing, attending class at TAFE NSW is no issue for Jarrod. He has a Disability Consultant who communicates the lesson to him in sign language and has a supportive teacher and classmates.
“My teacher has a great style of teaching which is why I enjoy the class. We are getting the skills and knowledge we need to do our jobs.
“Everyone is very open minded they don’t treat me any differently, they understand I can do the job and I’m just like one of the boys. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge and education both from my boss and my studies at TAFE NSW Granville.”
For anyone in a similar situation and may be unsure if studying is the right option, Jarrod says “Just go and try and do it. I know many deaf plumbers and they are all very skilled. Being deaf we are visual workers, we are good at problem-solving so if you’re interested just give it a go!”
To find out more about the disability services available to students at TAFE NSW visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601
Media contact: Teresa Lane, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner 9796 5476, mobile 0412 773 887