People working in businesses across Doncaster and the local community are being urged to use British Sign Language (BSL) next week (May 2 – 8) to sign ‘hello’, ‘good morning’, and ‘thank you’ to mark Deaf Awareness Week 2022.
We've put out the appeal as pupils at Doncaster School for Deaf and students from Communication Specialist College Doncaster are working together to help to get more people using BSL.
Alexis Johnson, our executive principal, said: “Our Deaf pupils and students would love to see more people signing.
“They try and live their lives as independently as possible, but if they experience communication problems while they’re out and about, it can make normal, day-to-day tasks such as getting a bus or going shopping much more difficult.
“This Deaf Awareness Week it would be great to see people from across the town using basic signs to communication, even a hello and thank you would make a huge difference.
“The theme for this year’s Deaf Awareness Week is Deaf Inclusion and we’d really like to show what an inclusive town Doncaster is.
“We already work closely with a number of businesses and organisations including Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust, CAST and Lakeside Village who have either had Deaf Awareness Training for their team or are working with us to help our students gain work experience and develop invaluable skills, but it would be great to work with even more local teams and get more people signing.”
The Trust will be sharing videos and messages throughout the week on their social media channels to showcase signing from nursery rhymes from the children at Little Learners Day Nursery to messages from the school and college about the importance of signing to them.
The aim of the campaign is to highlight the impact of hearing loss on everyday life and increase visibility and inclusion of Deaf people.
“Simple steps, such as being deaf aware, looking at a Deaf person when you are talking to them, and taking the time to learn some of the basics of British Sign Language, can make all the difference to the lives of Deaf people here in Doncaster,” added Alexis.
Anyone interested in learning BSL for free can join the online course created by Doncaster Deaf Trust thanks to National Lottery funding at www.doncasterdeafsign.org.uk