Supporting Nozima’s Passion For Fashion

Nozima Saidjanova

Nozima Saidjanova is studying a Level 3 fashion course at Kensington and Chelsea College to achieve her dream of becoming a Fashion Designer. The ambitious 20-year-old started out on a series of art and design courses at the College to improve her drawing techniques before moving on to fashion.

“I wanted to get into fashion and I really liked the area that the College was based. It has a reputation as having good quality teaching and it seemed really friendly”, said Nozima.

Throughout her studies Nozima has been supported by the College’s Study Support Team as she is deaf and uses British Sign Language.

Speaking about the support she receives Nozima said:
“I use a College sign language interpreter for all of my classes, as well as a weekly one-to-one session which supports my in-class learning. My interpreter helped me to settle in and gain confidence.
It”s always nerve-wracking starting a new course and a new college, especially when you rely on sign language to communicate. The interpreter would help and encourage me to interact; also they would intervene if I was struggling to understand what someone was saying, or had a challenging situation.
When I started at the College I felt very shy. I have more confidence now and have made friends over the last 2 years. I feel I am more assertive and happy to say if I”m struggling to communicate.”

Nozima is supported by College Sign Language Interpreters Rosie Coomber and Kirsty Lyall. Rosie holds a Deaf Studies Degree and an NVQ Level 4 in British Sign Language, as well as undergone a Postgraduate Diploma in British Sign Language / English Interpreting. Kirsty holds a Degree in Fine Art, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in British Sign Language / English Interpreting.

Speaking about supporting Nozima, Rosie said:
“I ensure that Nozima can access all of the information in relation to the course. This can mean that I am interpreting for the tutor from spoken English into British Sign Language, or I will interpret when Nozima is signing into spoken English.
I also ensure she can access the class discussions and any group work. She is supported with any written work and I ensure that she can access the same written information as her classmates”

Kirsty added:
“The staff interpreters at the College are all qualified and between them have had many years within the education sector as well as other areas, meaning we bring more to our support services than just some quick moving hands!”

Kensington and Chelsea College offers personalised support to students who have dyslexia, learning difficulties, physical and sensory disabilities and mental health issues. Support is provided by a qualified and experienced team of support workers with access to specialist technology and equipment. The team also offer in-class or small group support to students, usually on full-time courses, who are experiencing difficulties with reading, writing, maths or study skills.

Speaking about her role as an interpreter, Kirsty said:
“I”ve worked at Kensington and Chelsea College since 2008 so have lots of experience on a variety of course ranging from entry level ESOL to HNC interiors design. I have worked with 40 different Deaf students in that time. There”s no such thing as an average day when you’re interpreting. I have known Nozima for 2 years, so it”s like coming to work with your friends, but I have no control over what might be discussed by the teacher and even more so by the other students. I am constantly surprised linguistically in both languages, but this is something I very much enjoy about the role.”

The Study Support Team can be contacted on e-mail:, or by telephone on 020 7573 5389.