To celebrate Deaf Awareness Week, (15th-21st May) the team at Clinic Compare, an online resource for health care solutions, has created a fantastic new video which shows people how to sign a range of fun and friendly British Sign Language (BSL) phrases.
There are more than 900,000 deaf people in the UK and for many, BSL is the only way they can communicate effectively. It is estimated that a mere 0.1% of the hearing population is able to sign, leaving many people in the deaf community feeling lonely and isolated.
Clinic Compare wanted to raise awareness by creating a video that helps teach people some fun, essential phrases so that the next time they meet someone who is deaf or hard of hearing they would be able to communicate and make them feel included in the conversation.
They’ve worked with some young people in the deaf community to include the top phrases of today:
- How are you?
- Shall we take a selfie?
- What’s your favourite food?
- Do you have Facebook?
- Do you know how to sign?
- Do you have Snapchat?
- Want to go for a drink?
- Do you have Twitter?
- What are you doing this weekend?
- Nice to meet you!
In light of Dawn Butler’s recent signed question to the House of Commons, requesting the government to give BSL full legal status, Dawn Butler herself said that it is always “a nice surprise” when someone unexpectedly signs back to you.
Deaf actor, Vilma Jackson, who appears in the video says: “It can be tough being deaf, especially when the support isn’t there, so even learning just a few basic signs can have a massive impact on breaking down communication barriers between the hearing and non-hearing. What’s so great about this video is that it shows you how to sign phrases that you would genuinely use with your friends”.
Buchan Lennon’s parents are both deaf which means BSL has been his native tongue since he was a child. He comments: “I’m so pleased to be part of this project, to raise awareness of sign language and the deaf community. I’d like to see the nation do more to help deaf and mute people feel recognised, included and accommodated for in day to day life”.
Charlie Raine is hearing impaired and often communicates with students in BSL, she said: “This video is a great way to help the public understand more about BSL and how easy it is to learn a few phrases. Good eye contact, facial expressions and basic signs can go a long way in making deaf people feel included.”