Our Commissioning Advisory Panel

Our Commissioning Advisory Panel (see below) aims to bring a diverse range of perspectives to inform BSLBT’s commissioning activities and inspiring confidence in the commissioning processes and outcomes.


Andy Carmichael

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Andy is proud to have grown up in the Glasgow Deaf community as a hearing child of Deaf parents. A qualified interpreter for nearly thirty years, he has worked worldwide, between four different languages.

Whilst living in Australia, Andy re-trained as TV Producer at the Australian Film, TV and Radio School, gaining a Most Productive Student award at graduation, in recognition of his setting up and then executive producing SignPost, a community channel TV program by and for the Deaf community. He also directed music videos and was on the board of a Deaf theatre company.

Since returning to the UK, Andy has worked as an interpreter; first on a freelance basis and now in a full-time position at Heriot-Watt University.

Hamza Shaikh

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Birmingham born and bred, Hamza is a passionate member of the Deaf community. He has worked with Deaf organisations to get the best access possible for Deaf children nationally and internationally. 

Previously, Hamza has taught English, mathematics and IT to deaf and disabled children, and provided translation and proofreading services for the Deaf community.

He enjoys travelling to new places, learning about history, culture and language, taking photos and videos, socialising within the Deaf community, theatre and watching programmes on BSL Zone. 

Hamza is now a self-employed language tutor.

Jane O'Brien

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Jane is a Deaf professional visual artist, bilingual in ISL and BSL.  She has worked in the creative industry for many years, notably as a stage director and props designer on two big productions for Dublin Fringe Festival.  In 2021, Belfast’s Lyric Theatre commissioned her to produce and perform ‘The Naked Hands’.

From 2010 Jane worked as a tutor with IDS, providing FET courses to Deaf adults, and as an advocate and TA for Deaf children at Holy Family School, Dublin.
Jane is a newly qualified Deaf interpreter. An ISL presenter for University of Atypical and SIGNify Media, giving access to Arts and Cultural events online for the Deaf Community, she works freelance with NI Screen and National Museums NI.

Joe Collins

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A Deaf native BSL user, Joseph’s 20+ year career in broadcasting commenced in 1987 with the London Deaf Video Project.  In 1989 he was one of the first group of Deaf students to undertake film and TV production training at NEMTC in Newcastle, with Tyne Tees Television and Channel 4. Alongside four of his NEMTC peers, he then established Deaf Owl Productions.

Joseph has worked at BBC See Hear, TTTV/Channel 4’s Sign-On, Bristol University, Remark! and the BDA’s Deaf Heritage Project.

Since moving away from Deaf media, Joseph has organised UK-wide events with JCPromotions, worked as a BSL coach and trainer, and has written a book, Cut!  He now works in adult social care and volunteers for Deaf UK 50+.

Wendy Daunt

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Wendy’s career started in 1962 with no interpreters; firstly making theatrical costumes in London’s West End, then in Deaf education, working with Dorothy Miles at the BBC and studying with Mary Brennan at Durham University.

She has taught BSL at all levels, including linguistics, teaching interpreters at various universities and teachers of the Deaf in Oxford and Birmingham. She has taught Deaf schools’ Deaf staff, parents and 300 police officers!

An extensive traveller, Wendy worked in two Deaf schools’ communication centres for over 35 years, including as Head of Deaf Studies at RSD Derby, where she created a Deaf Heritage Centre. She worked with Jerry Hanifin for 27 years in CHASE video productions, keeping the BSL flag flying high together.

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