Speed Signing

Nobody could accuse Bridgette Walker of lacking energy!  In addition to pursuing a highly successful athletic career as an alpine skier, between 2005 and 2010 Bridgette completed three programs at George Brown College - Pre-Community Service, American Sign Language and Deaf Studies Program, and American Sign Language and Literacy Instructor Program.

Bridgette, who has a hearing disability herself, had a longstanding ambition to teach Deaf Studies and American Sign Language (ASL).  When investigating her options, she found George Brown was the only place that offered the high standards, accessibility and diverse range of programs she was looking for.

“George Brown is THE best place to improve your knowledge and competence in ASL,” explains Bridgette.  “People are in for a humbling experience if they enter into this program lightly, it’s deep!  By the time I finished my studies I felt like the ‘real deal’ and I owe that to the dedication of my instructors”.

After winning gold and bronze medals across several slalom events at last year’s provincial and national finals, Bridgette was invited to join Team Canada and compete at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in South Korea this winter, where she did her country proud with an outstanding performance, winning two bronze medals in Alpine Skiing in the Advanced Giant Slalom and the Advanced Super G. 

Bridgette partly attributes her athletic success to George Brown. “Being at College opened my mind and increased my understanding of people, which is vital,” she explains. “Developing as an athlete isn’t just about what you can do for yourself - it’s about sportsmanship, shared experiences and being an effective teammate.”

Despite her increasingly regular appearances on awards podiums, Bridgette loves being an ASL instructor, and has been teaching since the final year of her program.  She tailors her classes according to different needs, a practice carried forward from the adaptable classroom environments of her George Brown programs. “My advice to current students is don’t burn the bridge when you graduate,” says Bridgette.  “If you need inspiration, connections or help with your career, look back to the source that got you as far as you’ve come already – the college!”