Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Hands up! Who wants to learn #signlanguage?

I have been learning sign language for over twenty years now. I started aged nine when it was announced in assembly one morning that a little boy was joining the reception class who was deaf. They were looking for other pupils to volunteer to learn sign language so that he would have friends in the playground and generally help him not feel so isolated.

I remember feeling happy that I could be helping the little boy and also very excited that I would be learning something new. The lessons started with 'Mary had a Little Lamb' and I survived on that limited vocabulary until I undertook volunteer work with Sense (@Sensetweets during my university years. I was took a British Sign Language course (BSL Level 1) and continued practicing whenever I could.

Now there are links available for learning online, so I feel compelled to share them. You can develop a new language skill that connects you with the Deaf community, that supports pre-verbal children, and that allows you to have conversations when it is very noisy or when you are meant to be silent! I never used to enjoy visiting a bar or concert as I couldn't express myself to those around me without yelling saliva into their ears, and vice versa. Now I can and you can, too.

Here are the top links I've discovered:


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