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Learn Sign Language as Part of Deaf Awareness Week

To mark Deaf Awareness Week 2020 The Leeds Beckett Sign Language Society has highlighted three things you can during Lockdown.

The Leeds Beckett Sign Language Society was created in 2019. Our mission is to provide students with a method of being able to learn British Sign Language free of charge and use those skills across all platforms and career choices. We also provide deaf awareness knowledge and to teach about deaf culture.

Sign language is a unique ability which is not taught in schools as an official language which is unfortunate as there are approximately 11 million Deaf/hard of hearing people in the UK and over 151,000 BSL users.

The UK is in unprecedented times with the current COVID19 pandemic and this has been particularly difficult for Deaf people. Information on the virus is lacking in BSL. The current daily briefings finally have BSL Interpretation on BBC, but this was an afterthought which should not be happening.

Fortunately, from the great hearts of BSL Interpreters and Deaf professionals across the UK they have changed this outcome and are taking it upon their own initiative to provide this information in BSL and sharing this across all platforms. What can you do to help?

Three Things You Can Do During Lockdown

  • Learn BSL - Sign Language is a beautiful visual language to learn. You can head over to the Doncaster Deaf Trust website to learn BSL Level One for free.
  • Contact your local Deaf Community and check in on them, ask if they are coping with the current climate and offer help where you can. (Stay safe though).
  • Watch an American TV program called 'Switched At Birth' - This TV show highlights Deaf issues and barriers throughout and a great way to learn more about deafness.

CODA

In addition to our missions we will also take every opportunity to raise awareness and fundraise for Children of Deaf Adults who are often forgotten about as a culture and identity. CODA's are bilingual and multicultural and so it's important to recognise that they are an integral part of advocacy for Deaf people across the country, but also have their own culture of life experiences.

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