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Katie-Marie Greenan achieved 95% in her second accountancy exam when she used lip reading, in comparison to her first exam when she got 77% using a signer.

Katie-Marie was born profoundly deaf but has refused to let this get in the way of her career.

People with profound deafness cannot hear sounds below 90 decibels, with some not able to hear anything at all.

Katie-Marie Greenan in class at the Hartlepool College of Further Education.

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Katie, whose first language is British Sign Language, said: “I sign at work but when the signer was here I found it challenging to look at the signer, the teacher and then the board.

“I found it hard even though the signer was doing an excellent job at communicating as it was information overload.

“The signer sometimes struggled to explain some of the financial terminology, it was hard for them and for me.”

Speaking with her college tutor, Julie Todd-Davis, Katie decided to attempt lip reading.

Katie-Marie Greenan (front) with AAT tutor Julie Todd-Davis (back) at the Hartlepool College of Further Education.

“Sometimes we have to write things down, use spreadsheets and annotations but we found this method worked much better for us.”

The 28-year-old from Billingham returned to education after 10 years and is currently on track to achieve a Level 3 AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting.

In May 2021, she began an apprenticeship with the NHS Commissioning Unit where she is now a Band Four Finance Officer.

Julie first taught Katie as a 17-year-old when she passed the Lev el 2 c ourse in Accounting.

Speaking about her role in Katie’s education, Julie said: “What’s important to stress here is that we have communicated as a team and adapted the qualification to the individual learner’s need.

“Katie is a shining example of how she hasn’t let her disability affect her progress. She is confident and has a lovely demeanour.”

Katie wanted to wait until she was ready before returning to education: “I have always wanted to come back to finish my Level 3 and I am in the right mind frame.

“With the job I have, they go together nicely.

“I knew I would be in safe hands with Julie, she is an excellent teacher.”

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